Karnataka

Coronavirus | Karnataka’s testing rates lowest among southern States

Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday visited the SARS-CoV-2 testing facility set up at Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubballi. Kiran Bakale

Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday visited the SARS-CoV-2 testing facility set up at Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences in Hubballi. Kiran Bakale  

Government attributes it to delay in arrival of kits from China

Karnataka is yet to obtain the much-awaited rapid testing kits for COVID-19 from China. This has lead to delay in beginning randomised tests, which was supposed to have commenced on April 12.

Although Karnataka has been boasting of a relatively low number of positive cases compared to other States, an analysis by The Hindu shows that Karnataka has the lowest testing per million population among the southern States (barring Telangana). While the rate of testing in Telangana is not in public domain, Karnataka’s rate is lower than Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh.

According to data compiled by The Hindu, which is a combination of numbers reported by the Central Health Ministry and updates from State governments’ Health Departments, Karnataka has been doing 182.3 tests per million people. Kerala, with 483.1 tests per million people, ranks the highest, followed by Tamil Nadu which has done 285 tests per million people. Andhra Pradesh has done 217.5 tests per million population.

On the increase

During the press conference on Thursday, Primary and Secondary Education Minister S. Suresh Kumar said the number of tests conducted in Karnataka was increasing by the day. “We conducted 415 tests on April 6 and 1,241 tests on April 16,” Mr. Kumar said. According to the statistics provided by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, so far, 13,724 tests have been conducted as of Thursday.

 

Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar acknowledged that the testing kits were yet to arrive from China. “I have been told that around 1 lakh testing kits will come by Sunday. All States are seeing a delay in receiving the kits,” he said. Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said that orders were placed for 3 lakh kits.

Meanwhile, statistics provided by the Department of Health and Family Welfare said in the area of the deaths per one crore population, Karnataka stood at the 10th position as of Thursday.

Watch | Who are most likely to get affected by COVID-19?
 

‘Random testing is key’

With a delivery person testing positive for COVID-19 in Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister C.N. Ashwath Narayan said it was important to have random testing, especially of those involved in the delivery of essential services.

 

Speaking to reporters here on Thursday, Mr. Narayan said that with the huge shortage in testing kits, random testing can be done only depending on availability. The government was also trying to scale up the existing lab testing capacity, he said.

He also said it was important for all companies to start regular screening of employees, including those who were asymptomatic. That apart, instructions and directives on social distancing, and usage of masks and sanitisers had to be followed stringently.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:37:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/karnatakas-testing-rates-lowest-among-southern-states/article31358788.ece

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