The Telangana government has issued orders to conduct RT-PCR tests on priority in hospital settings on five categories of patients. Patients from these categories, who are in hospital for either out-patient or in-patient care, are to be subjected to RT-PCR testing, according to the orders issued by Telangana Director of Public Health and Family Welfare G Srinivasa Rao on Wednesday.
The five categories of patients to be tested for coronavirus are: all patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), all symptomatic (ILI symptoms) patients presenting in a healthcare setting, asymptomatic high-risk patients who are hospitalised or seeking immediate hospitalisation, asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical invasive procedures (not to be tested more than once a week during hospital stay), and all pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalised for delivery.
The orders have been issued in line with an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) advisory from September 2020 on COVID-19 testing strategy, the state government said. All registered health facilities in the state are required to carry out RT-PCR tests on patients from these categories, and submit a daily report to Health Department authorities.
According to the state government’s COVID-19 bulletin, as of Wednesday night there were 5,511 active COVID-19 patients in the state, of which 2,166 patients were under home or institutional isolation. So far, the state has tested a total of around 1.02 crore samples for coronavirus. As per the standard advised by the World Health Organisation of conducting 140 tests per day per million population, Telangana’s daily target is to conduct 5,600 tests. A total of 59,297 tests were conducted on Wednesday alone, according to the bulletin.
As of March 31, a total of 10,24,990 people in the state had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 2,39,036 persons had received both doses of the vaccine. Starting from April 1, people in the age group of 45-59 years will be eligible for vaccination, irrespective of comorbidities.