PCR tests gain traction, but rapid test numbers fall by 50%

The average number of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs), that had touched nearly 3,000 per day last week, has dropped by nearly 50 per cent in Mysuru with about 1,404 tests per day being carried out between October 14 and 19.

However, the average number of RT-PCR tests has seen a jump last week with tests per day crossing 3,000. The average PCR tests between October 7 and 14 were 2,241 a day, according to the statistics provided by the COVID-19 War Room, Bengaluru.

Sources said the PCR tests saw an upsurge after they were made mandatory for the participants of Dasara inaugural here last week. As a precaution, following the advice of COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), the authorities subjected the participants (who had been permitted to attend) to the PCR method of testing 48 hours before the inaugural event since these tests were considered confirmatory in nature.

RT-PCR negative test report (done after October 14) should be made mandatory for COVID-19 safety at the Dasara venues. The test for officials, staff, security personnel, media persons, artists and others should be made compulsory, the TAC had recommended.

Crucial period

Also, the PCR tests may go up again ahead of the finale this weekend with the participants, including those who had been tested last week, having to provide their swabs under this method.

The RATs may also go up this week with the launch of mobile testing booths in view of the festive season. Mass testing in factories/industries had been arranged for free.

The RAT had achieved 200 per cent of its target between October 7 and 13 but it could achieve 100 per cent target last week. Despite having over 22 centres where the RATs are done for free besides PHCs, the tests did not exceed the target.

Does this indicate not many people are making use of the testing facilities after the fall in the weekly positivity rate? In the last seven days, Mysuru has reported 2,820 new cases, a significant fall, may be by 50 per cent, when compared to new infections in September and cases reported early this month.

The report from the COVID-19 war room said there has been overall improvement in all parameters.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 2:20:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/pcr-tests-gain-traction-but-rapid-test-numbers-fall-by-50/article32906053.ece

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