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Coronavirus | Centre expresses concern over decline in daily COVID-19 tests in Odisha

Odisha on October 27 reported 1,272 cases taking the caseload to 2,83,942. File   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

The Centre has expressed concern over the decline in the number of daily COVID-19 tests in Odisha.

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At a recently held meeting with 14 States, the Union Health Ministry pointed out that there was a steady decline in the number of tests being conducted in Odisha.

The State, which had touched 68,906 tests on August 22, has been bringing down them consistently. The last over 50,000 tests were carried out on September 29.

According to the Health department, 30,303 tests were conducted during the past 24 hours. On October 22 and 23, more than 40,000 tests were conducted. Experts believed that the daily spike in the cases was going down as the State was testing fewer people.

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Asked why there had been consistent decline in the daily tests, Shalini Pandit, State Mission Director of the National Health Mission, said, “Odisha is testing as per requirements following the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines on testing. Our testing load will depend on the number of symptomatic cases, contacts of positive cases and active containment zones. It will rise or fall as per these indicators.”

The proceedings of the review meeting say the split of tests is skewed more towards antigen tests while this needs to be balanced with adequate rapid antigen tests of symptomatic with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).

The Centre has directed Odisha to go for a robust follow-up of home-isolated patients either through physical visits or telephonic monitoring of their clinical status. The directive was issued as about 70% of patients were under home isolation.

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The COVID-19 situation has improved significantly. The State on Tuesday reported 1,272 cases taking the caseload to 2,83,942. The daily spike had once breached 4,300. The State could draw consolation from the fact that the positivity rate which once was above double-digit had dropped to 4% now.

So far 1,272 persons have died of the disease. Odisha was asked to carry out hospital-wise monitoring of fatalities.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:37:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-expresses-concern-over-decline-in-daily-covid-19-tests-in-odisha/article32956739.ece

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