BENGALURU: A pilot project for random testing of people for Covid-19 in Kolar will officially launch on Thursday. It is being done jointly by the state and central governments, Tata Group, Tata Consultancy Services and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans).
Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, told TNIE, “Randomised testing will be done with ICMR-approved Rapid Antibody Test kits from South Korea. Apart from this, random testing is going on in high-concentration red zones using RT-PCR kits, especially of primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 patients.
ICMR has advised us not to use the other rapid antibody test kits procured from China.” The project unofficially began last Sunday by testing 30-40 people. “Four types of tests will be done -- rapid antibody, RT-PCR, ELISA (enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay) test and Pool. Health and ASHA workers and police personnel will be chosen for random testing.
It will begin officially on Thursday. The aim is to do 700-800 rapid antibody tests and 300-400 each for the remaining tests. We have procured 1,000 rapid antibody test kits from South Korea,” said a health department official. “This is happening through the Digital Nerve Centre (DiNC) that has was set up in Kolar in 2017 by the Tata Trust and TCS. It has registered around 14.9 lakh citizens and offers virtual consultation for health services with doctors,” he added. DiNC uses telemedicine by linking local primary health centres via video facility to specialist care from other places.