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Coronavirus | Gujarat increases testing

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that Gujarat and a few other States needed to ramp up testing as the COVID-19 pandemic was surging and with lower tests, there is no clarity on the extent of spread of the virus in the community, Gujarat on Wednesday tested 50,124 samples, its highest so far.

On Tuesday also, after the PM’s remarks during a COVID-19 review meeting, the State Health Department enhanced testing with 41,647 samples.

The samples include both rapid antigen tests, which are less reliable and have a low accuracy ratio, the RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction), which is recommended for its reliability.

According to medical experts, the State needs to increase RT-PCR tests, which would offer more clarity on the extent of the spread of the virus that has already claimed 2,715 lives in the State with almost 74,000 cases.

Gujarat clearly lags behind the majority of the States in testing because, from the beginning, the State Health authorities adopted a strategy of limiting tests only to symptomatic patients.

So far, Gujarat has tested a total of 1.1 million samples, which is significantly behind several States, including Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

Due to lower testing, the State’s cases have also remained lower. So far, the total number of cases recorded in the State are 74,390, with 14,282 active cases.

As on Wednesday, a total of 57,393 patients had been discharged from hospitals or home isolation because asymptomatic patients are not hospitalised and are treated at home in isolation.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 7:52:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-gujarat-increases-testing/article32339910.ece

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