Three test positive for COVID in Telangana

Doctors question criteria for testing in State

The number of COVID-19 cases in Telangana dropped to single digit again as only three samples tested positive for the virus on Monday. All the three cases are from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits. Of the patients admitted to Isolation Wards, 40 more were discharged.

A total of 1085 cases were reported till May 4. Of them, 471 are active cases, 585 were discharged and 29 people suffering from the disease have died.

The State’s Director of public Health G Srinivasa Rao detailed week-wise peak in COVID-19 cases in Telangana. From March 2 -when the first case was confirmed in Telangana- there were two peaks till May 4.

The first peak of 303 cases was recorded from March 30 to April 6. It dropped to 153 from April 7 to 13, but peaked again to 366 from April 14 to 20. Thereafter, it continued to drop. Only 76 cases were reported from April 27 to May 4.

Though officials stated that the dip in the number of new cases denotes that the lockdown was effective in containing the pandemic, questions remain about the criteria for testing samples. Doctors attending COVID-19 patients and Health department officials said that there will be less cases if less samples are tested.

Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar had issued directions on April 21 not to test asymptomatic secondary contacts, but to quarantine them at home for 28 days and monitor their condition. He had insisted that only primary contacts of positive cases should be brought to the government identified quarantine centres and their samples should be collected for testing. State Health Minister Eatala Rajender claimed that their criteria adheres to Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) guidelines.

The doctors and health officials who argued against excluding asymptomatic secondary contacts stressed that there was every possibility that the asymptomatic contacts might be carriers of the virus. Delay in testing them could lead to further spread of the virus.

Besides, unlike other States, the Health department in Telangana does not regularly share number of samples tested. It is seldom mentioned in daily health bulletin.

Earlier, the number of samples tested was displayed on the Telangana’s Department of Health and Family Welfare website. However, the crucial information is excluded from May 1 afternoon. Doctors on multiple occasions pointed out detailed medical bulletins issued by other States.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 1:43:15 PM |

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