Telangana fails to set up enough labs for COVID-19 testing
HYDERABAD: As India galloped ahead to increase its testing capacity post lockdown, Telangana crawled. By March 31, the State had six government labs to test COVID-19 samples and in the following three months it added just seven more.
As per the list of testing labs across the country released by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday, the country has a network of 760 government labs that can test COVID-19 samples. At the end of March, India had only around 132 government labs for this.
As the country added 628 more labs, Telangana’s share in it is just seven. Even out of these seven labs, two are Central government laboratories -- the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting Diagnostics. So, effectively, Telangana added just five more labs since March-end.
Not just this, but the State’s testing scenario is pathetic when it comes to the districts. Of the 33 districts as on Sunday, only five have labs to test samples for the novel Coronavirus — Warangal, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Suryapet and Gadwal. Apart from Warangal, the other four districts have machines to conduct the Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CB-NAAT).
Due to the poor availability of labs in the State, Telangana’s testing capacity is low. It may be mentioned that the intensive testing of samples started by the State government on June 16 in the GHMC and its surrounding areas had to be halted for four days as the labs were overwhelmed with samples.
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