COVID graph up, tests down in Odisha

Sources said, there have been several instances of relatives of COVID patients being denied RT-PCR test due to shortage of kits.

Published: 27th April 2021 08:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2021 08:39 AM   |  A+A-

Odisha Coronavirus

For representational purposes

Express News Service

ROURKELA: Test, track, treat may have been the basic and most crucial advice to contain the Covid-19 transmission but the opposite seems to be happening in Sundargarh, particularly Rourkela, which is reeling under a brutal surge. 

As it witnesses a continuous spike, testing in the district has further been lowered over the last several days much to the dismay of residents. The district on Sunday tested a total of 1,595 samples including 655 RT-PCR tests and the rest Rapid Antigen Tests.

This means the testing strength has almost been halved in four days as on April 21, as many as 2,979 samples were collected which included 2,766 RT-PCR tests. On Saturday, less than 2,000 samples were tested.

For a district that has been reporting close to 30 per cent test positivity rate (TPR), health experts said there is an urgent need for augmentation of testing capacity to detect all positive cases and stem the outbreak.

However, administrative sources attribute the low testing to Covid infection among several laboratory technicians and inadequate supply of kits.

Rourkela ADM Aboli Sunil Naravane said the Steel City is testing around 1,000 samples daily which are much higher than the given target. Efforts would be made to enhance the testing capacity further, she added.

Sources said, there have been several instances of relatives of Covid patients being denied RT-PCR test due to shortage of kits.

Long queues at the testing point of Rourkela Government Hospital are a regular sight while many returning without test is a common affair. With contact tracing remaining a limited affair, there is very little the administration could do to arrest the transmission.

From April 9, the district has been witnessing a steep spike in daily case count with Rourkela alone accounting for 60 to 80 per cent of the new infections. On April 19, 21 and 25, Sundargarh reported 722, 788 and 785 cases respectively.

From April 9, Sundargarh has added a whopping 8,699 new positive cases. Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan claimed that sample collection facilities have been set up at 32 health institutions across the district including various hospitals at Rourkela, the district headquarters hospital and NTPC Covid hospital at Sundargarh town besides 20 community health centres.

On Monday, 434 fresh Covid cases were reported from the district, taking the active tally to 5,888. For the first time in the second Covid wave, on Monday, the single day recovery of 526 patients surpassed the day’s new cases.

A total of 19,672 persons of the total 25,746 positive cases have recovered in the district. Officially, 181 persons have died due to Covid while the unofficial figure is much higher.


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