The district administration has been facing some flak in the recent times for delay in declaring the results of COVID -19 tests. There has been instances when the commitment for declaring the results within 24 hours have gone beyond three or four days. Some are yet to receive their results even after five days. To overcome these glitches, the district administration is now adopting IT solutions to overcome the glitches in the testing sector.
Visakhapatnam-based IT solutions company Fluentgrid has developed two portals for the district administration. While one caters to the testing area, the other is for handling the isolation area.
The portals have been developed after hours of deliberation with the IT professionals from Fluentgrid and they have already undergone a two-day test run from Friday. “If very thing is okay , the portals will be operational within a day or two,” said district COVID Special Officer and Principal of Andhra Medical College P.V. Sudhakar. And if implemented, the portals will the first of its kind in the State and will be a model for the other districts, he added.
It is learnt that the users of the portal, including staff from the testing centres and isolation committee, are also undergoing training in handling the portals.
Reasons for delay
This testing portal will exclusively cater to the testing area. The moment samples are collected and sent to the laboratories for analysis, an entry will be made in the portal and after 24 hours if the results are not declared, the entry will start flashing and generating an alert. All officials from the District Collector to the COVID officials concerned will have the login and the portal will give live updates, said Dr. Sudhakar.
It is learnt that the primary reason for the delay in the results is a huge collection of samples in the last one week. The district administration has intensified its testing drive and on a daily basis over 3,000 samples are being collected.
The sudden rush of samples is being hindered by shortage of manpower at the labs at KGH and Government Hospital for Chest Diseases (GHCCD).
It is learnt that many of the analysts and technicians at the labs have fallen sick and it may be remembered that the Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL) at KGH was closed for over a week in this month, after a few staff tested positive. The already short-staffed labs are facing a further staff crunch and it is learnt that only high priority samples, such as those with symptoms and from the high-risk groups, are being given preference.
But once the portal becomes operational, it will clearly indicate the timeline from the collection of samples and will speed up the process, said a senior technician from the VRDL. He also indicated that people need not worry about the lifespan of the samples collected, as they are being maintained in a cold chain. Doctors say qualified candidates are not available for increasing manpower in labs.