Data on testing in State released after 18-day gap

Only 3,564 samples have been tested in past two weeks

After a gap of 18 days, the Health Minister’s office on Sunday finally shared the data on the total tests conducted in the State to detect COVID-19 — the number stands at 22,842 tests, till May 14.

Unlike in other States, this crucial piece of information is not shared regularly by Telangana government, prompting common people, the medical fraternity and other sections of society to raise questions about transparency.

Prior to this, it was last shared by Health Minister Eatala Rajender during a press conference on April 28. At that time, he had shared that 19,063 tests were conducted in the State. The information, which used to be shared on the State Health and Family Welfare department website, started to be excluded from May 1 until when 19,278 samples had been tested.

That means only 3,564 samples have been tested from May 2 to 14.

According to the latest data till May 14, of the total 22,842 samples, 1,388 or 6.1% were found positive. The Minister’s office stated that accuracy of tests is on par with that of the US and UK.

The data also mentioned that out of the 2,30,857 samples tested in Maharashtra, 25,922 had tested positive, which is 11.2%. In Gujarat, of the 1,22,297 samples tested, 9,628 or 7.6% came out positive.

Need for more tests

The argument and counter arguments about the number of tests conducted in the State have prevailed over the past week. While common people as well as doctors have demanded that more tests be conducted to detect cases and understand the actual extent of coronavirus, Mr Rajender said on multiple occasions that they are following Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines to conduct tests.

Highly placed sources said that scientifically designed guidelines help detect more positives.

“The important criteria is to test the target group and how many test positive, which we have been doing. Our rate of accuracy is good. More tests can be conducted. But what purpose will it serve if tests are not focused and less positives are detected,” sources asked.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 9:56:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/data-on-testing-in-state-released-after-18-day-gap/article31609867.ece

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