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New ICMR data raises questions over Telangana's contact tracing efforts

According to the data, Telangana tested only 14 contacts per COVID-19 confirmed case, thus categorizing it under the category of states with 'less than 50th percentile of contacts tested'.

Published: 04th June 2020 10:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2020 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) where seven doctors working in cardiology department tested positive for COVID-19 in Hyderabad on Wednesday. (Photo | S Senbagapandiyan/EPS)

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: New data has emerged which lists Telangana among the worst states when it comes to COVID-19 contact tracing.

Following the controversy over less number of samples being tested in Telangana to detect COVID-19 cases, the data presented in a recently published paper in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), casts doubts over the contact tracing efforts put in by Telangana government, in the crucial starting period of the pandemic, from January 22 to April.

According to the data, Telangana tested only 14 contacts per COVID-19 confirmed case, thus categorizing it under the category of states with 'less than 50th percentile of contacts tested', which simply means that in the state the authorities traced less than half of all persons the COVID-19 patient came in contact with.

Telangana shares this poor performance category with states reporting high numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

None of the other South Indian states fall under this category. While Andhra Pradesh which tested 54 contacts per confirmed case was categorized as the state with '50-75th percentile of contacts tested', Tamil Nadu(44), Kerala(40) and Karnataka(93) have been categorized as states with 'more than 75th percentile of contacts tested'.

The study that has published this data is titled, 'Laboratory surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in India: Performance of testing & descriptive epidemiology of detected COVID-19, January 22 - April 30, 2020'.

This new data, combined with the allegation of poor number testing, which the state government has defended, raises doubts over the state government's efforts in controlling the dreadful disease.

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