COVID-19 outbreak: Rapid tests on JK Tyres employees show high rate of positivity

The entrance to JK Tyres and Industries unit in Mysuru.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

The outbreak of COVID-19 at JK Tyres and Industries in Mysuru appears to be taking a turn for the worse with rapid tests on the employees indicating a high rate of positivity.

Apart from the 54 employees who had tested positive during swab tests conducted last week, another 176 employees had tested positive during the rapid tests conducted for three days on the company premises beginning Sunday.

The tyre manufacturer had tied up with Apollo BGS Hospitals in Mysuru to carry out the tests on all its employees, estimated to be around 4,600.

According to sources familiar with the procedure, the results were showing a positivity of almost 30 per cent. “Around 180 to 200 tests were being conducted every day. If 176 had tested positive out of the estimated 600 tests carried out during three days, the rate of positivity is almost 30 per cent”, said a person familiar with the developments.

Mysuru District Health Officer R. Venkatesh, who confirmed the outbreak, told The Hindu that he would visit the company premises on Thursday to take stock of the situation. He said the company had tied up with a private hospital for testing and treatment of its employees, who had medical insurance policies.

The private hospital had arranged hotels for isolating patients and providing them treatment. “The government will offer help if the employees do not have insurance”, Dr. Venkatesh said.

Meanwhile, sources said it would take another 20 days for all the 4,600 employees to be tested. “If 200 tests are being conducted every day, it will take no less than 20 days for the testing to be completed”, the source said before expressing concern over the possibility of the spread of the virus.

Sources also pointed out that the rapid antigen test was not “hundred per cent confirmatory test” for COVID-19. In view of the possibility of the rapid test giving “false positive” for other viral infections, there is a need for carrying a fresh RT-PCR for a confirmation for COVID-19. Hence, RT-PCR tests will also have to be conducted on the employees testing positive.

Though it was learnt through the Industry Department officials that the operations at the company remained suspended for the third day on Wednesday, efforts to get a response from the company management proved futile.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 2:42:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-outbreak-rapid-tests-on-jk-tyres-employees-show-high-rate-of-positivity/article32168098.ece

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