Kozhikode

More COVID-19 tests in government hospitals in Kozhikode to arrest TPR

With the high number of COVID-19 cases being reported from some of the rural pockets, the Health Department wanted a clear picture on the daily TPR to contain the infection.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Kozhikode has become one of the first districts in Kerala to ramp up the frequency and the number of COVID-19 lab tests in government hospitals in a bid to streamline the detection of daily test positivity rate (TPR) of the infection. The effort would also help detect patients with the Indian strain of SARS-CoV-2 or its variants.

According to sources in the Health Department, all community health centres have been asked to conduct at least 100 RT-PCR tests and 75 antigen tests every day. District hospital, general hospital, the hospital for women and children and taluk hospitals should conduct 150 RT-PCR and antigen tests daily.

The Government Medical College Hospital should hold 500 tests each, and the Institute of Maternal and Child Health attached to it has to conduct 300 tests. The Institute of Chest Diseases is required conduct 150 tests and the Government Dermatology Hospital, 50 antigen and RT-PCR tests each. Family health centres and primary health centres should conduct 100 RT-PCR and antigen tests twice a week.

Fluctuating TPR

The sources said that at least some of these institutions, especially those in the rural areas, used to conduct the tests only on alternate days or twice a week. This led to fluctuating daily TPR being reported from these places.

The sources said that right now, the TPR and the number of cases are high in the border areas of the district. Panangad, Kottoor, and Kakkodi grama panchayats recorded a daily TPR of 34% on Thursday. Azhiyoor, Perumanna, Olavanna, and Onchiyam too had a TPR of 30% and above.

With the high number of COVID-19 cases being reported from some of the rural pockets, the Health Department wanted a clear picture on the daily TPR to contain the infection. Along with increasing the number of tests, the district-level expert committee has decided to keep symptomatic people under surveillance. Triple lockdown could be enforced if the figure crosses 40%.

A senior official pointed out that holding the tests daily in major healthcare institutions would be helpful to the people.

“This will reduce crowding outside testing centres. People, especially those who are symptomatic or who are suspected to have the infection, may not have to wait either. Thus, it could reduce the chances of them spreading infection to others,” he said.

To strengthen the surveillance, it would be better to have daily tests in PHCs and FHCs as well, the official added.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 11:17:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/more-covid-19-tests-in-government-hospitals-in-kozhikode-to-arrest-tpr/article34604698.ece

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