Shortage of Rapid Antigen Tests hits three districts in Telangana

As a result, PHCs are now forced to issue tokens for RATs, just like how they conduct RT-PCR tests.

Published: 10th May 2021 09:51 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th May 2021 09:51 AM   |  A+A-

A health worker conducts COVID-19 Rapid Antigen test at the district administration office, coronavirus

Representational Image. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

WARANGAL: At a time when Telangana is reeling under shortage of Covid vaccines, three districts in the State are facing a dearth of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits as well. According to sources, most Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Warangal Urban, Rural and Jangaon districts do not have adequate number of RAT kits. This has become a major issue in these three districts as all PHCs, on a daily basis, witness serpentine queues of people waiting to undergo Covid-19 tests.

According to sources, unlike previously, scores of people are now voluntarily visiting nearby PHCs to undergo Covid tests, after the three districts started witnessing a surge in number of cases being reported in rural areas. Not just people who have no to mild symptoms, but even those who came in contact with positive patients are rushing to their nearest PHCs for rapid antigen tests. As a result, PHCs are now forced to issue tokens for RATs, just like how they conduct RT-PCR tests. In some cases, people get slots two days after they approach a PHC. 

When Express spoke to a few PHC staffers, they explained how deplorable the condition was and stated that they were able to test just 30 to 40 samples per day, due to the shortage of RAT kits. “When our PHC runs out of RAT kits, we will rush to the nearby PHC, to check if they have any kits left. However, the situation is same at most clinics. As a result, scores of people are forced to return without undergoing Covid tests,” the staffers added. 

When Express contacted, DMHO Dr A Mahender, he attributed the shortage of kits to the rise in demand. He also requested those who experience mild symptoms to immediately commence the treatment, instead of waiting to undergo tests. “The ANMs have already initiated a door-to-door survey for identifying those experiencing symptoms. The staffers will help shift severe patients to isolation centres,” he added.


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