COIMBATORE: Days after Health Minister C Vijayabaskar announced that Coimbatore will follow an aggressive testing strategy to control Covid-19, the district health officials said that they are flooded with 4,000 to 4,500 samples and the situation has forced them to send at least 1,000 samples to Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) in Madurai every day to avoid backlogging.
Coimbatore has two government labs and ten private labs, mostly owned by private healthcare facilities, which are approved by the Indian Council for Medical Research to conduct Covid-19 tests. The Health department began sending the samples to Madurai four days ago, sources said, adding that the increased collection reportedly resulted in the accrual of samples at the government facility. "All labs in the district are testing enough samples daily. So, we are sending some samples to Madurai to avoid backlogging. However, the results are declared within 48 hours," said an official.
Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH) Dean (In-Charge) P Kalidas said, "The Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) in the hospital is testing around 2,300 samples that are collected from the city residents daily. A month ago, we were testing around 1,600 samples." Kalidas, however, was unaware of the Health department sending excess samples to Madurai. Meanwhile, sources informed that around 1,200 samples are being tested in ESI Hospital every day.
It may be recalled that the district health department stopped sending Covid-19 samples for testing to Chennai in April.