Denied RT-PCR tests, patients opt for private hospitals in Telangana

As his health kept worsening, his family members took him to the government area hospital for admission.

Published: 10th May 2021 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2021 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

People queue up at a PHC in Jangaon district to undergo Rapid Antigen Test.

People queue up at a PHC in Jangaon district to undergo Rapid Antigen Test.

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: While a RT-PCR test result is a must for admission into hospitals across the State, many smaller districts in the State are not well equipped to conduct these tests. This is resulting in delay in admission of Covid patients who are in need of immediate treatment. For instance, when 57-year-old Salimuddin (name changed), a resident of Bodhan town in Nizamabad, got a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) done, the report came negative. However, his temperature kept rising due to the fever, so he went to a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in the town and requested for an RT-PCR test. But, he was told that the stock of RT-PCR kits for the day was over. 

As his health kept worsening, his family members took him to the government area hospital for admission. The hospital denied him admission as he was not carrying an RT-PCR test report. When he started having breathing difficulty, his family members rushed to a private hospital, wherein a CT scan report showed that his lungs have been badly infected and his oxygen level was below 80. Salimuddin is currently on ventilator support and is fighting for life.  

Although the State government has set a target for conducting quite a number of tests every day in all districts, most of these tests are RAT, whose accuracy is not up to the mark. According to sources from the Health, Medical & Family Welfare Department, many PHCs have been advised to conduct only 40 RT-PCR tests a day. 

“Our kin was denied RT-PCR at the PHC. The health staff were ready to give medication for shortness of breath, but would not conduct RT-PCR, which is mandatory to get an admission in a hospital,” said a family member of Salimuddin. The situation is similar in other districts also. According to sources from DMHO office in Nizamabad, the RTP-CR was denied because there were instructions from the government to limit these tests due to the shortage of kits. However, the government has instructed to increase the number of RATs.

No proper RT-PCR labs in several districts
Getting an RT-PCR test done in districts such as Adilabad, Kumrambheem-Asifabad, Jagtial, Mancherial, Kamareddy, Jogulamba-Gadwal, Nagarkurnool and Wanaparthy, is difficult because the samples have to be sent to other districts with proper labs. Districts without labs are reducing the number RT-PCR tests to reduce the load on labs in the Warangal, Karimnagar and Nizamabad districts


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