TAC recommends revised testing target of 15,000 from the present 5,000

The focus will as usual be on all ILI, SARI and primary contacts of the positive cases

Updated - December 28, 2022 10:21 pm IST

Published - December 28, 2022 10:14 pm IST - Bengaluru

Currently, around 1,500 tests are being conducted daily in BBMP limits. Officials said the testing numbers are being increased gradually.

Currently, around 1,500 tests are being conducted daily in BBMP limits. Officials said the testing numbers are being increased gradually. | Photo Credit: PTI

Amid concerns about a possible BF.7 wave, Karnataka is targeting around 15,000 tests daily from around 5,000 now.

After assessments and deliberations at its 189th meeting on Sunday, the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) recommended ramping up daily testing numbers in the State.

“We have recommended that the daily tests in Bengaluru should be increased to 5,000 from the existing 1,500. At least 10,000 tests should be conducted in districts other than Bengaluru (rest of Karnataka). As of now, around 3,500 tests are conducted in the districts,” TAC Chairman M.K. Sudarshan told The Hindu on Wednesday.

New variants

In October, when some States reported newer sub-variants of Omicron such as BQ.1 and BA.2.3.20, apart from XBB, the TAC had advised that the daily tests in Bengaluru, which has always been the epicentre of COVID-19 in the State, should be increased to at least 10,000. However, the newer sub-variants did not result in an increased caseload in the State, and the tests continued to remain around 2,000.

On Wednesday, 19,618 tests were conducted of which 39 tested positive. This number includes reconciled tests of previous two days that could be recorded due to a technical issue.

State Health Commissioner Randeep D. said the idea is to ensure that no symptomatic person is missed out. “The focus will as usual be on all ILI, SARI, and primary contacts of the positive cases. While there is no need to panic, we are working on being prepared to tackle a fresh surge,” he said.

BBMP testing

Currently, around 1,500 tests are being conducted daily in BBMP limits. K.V. Trilok Chandra, BBMP Special Commissioner (Health) said the testing numbers are being increased gradually.

He said all ILI/SARI cases and symptomatic persons who visit Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in BBMP limits are being tested now. “We did  5,438 tests in the last 24 hours and are working on further increasing the number of tests. We have recently hired 141 swab collectors and more will be taken, if required,” he said.

No need to panic

C. Nagaraja, Director of the State-run Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD), said, “Of the nearly 250 cases seen daily in our hospital, around 60 swabs are being collected. We are compulsorily testing all ILI and SARI cases. The good thing is hardly two-three are testing positive for COVID.”

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