Image: ANI & Pixabay
As India continues to reel under the pandemic, Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Sunday said that a revised COVID-19 testing strategy is being introduced in the state in the wake of 71 per cent out of the population eligible to be vaccinated taking at least the first dose of the vaccine against coronavirus. This latest development comes after Kerala recorded 29, 836 fresh infections, which pushed the total infection count in the state to 40,07,408.
Veena George said, "Guidelines have also been issued based on the vaccination status in the districts. More people will be screened to know the exact extent of the spread of the disease in the community. The COVID spread will be assessed in all the districts based on sentinel and random samples. All the districts would take random samples to find out any new clusters of COVID outbreaks."
While stating that in districts where the first dose of the vaccine has been given to above 80 per cent, the Kerala Health Minister said that RTPCR is recommended for individuals with any symptoms like mild sore throat, cough and diarrhoea. Remarking that antigen testing will be conducted at this location as part of Sentinel Surveillance, she said that this test is performed on people with high social contact such as shops, malls, offices, institutions and transit sites.
"Antigen will also be sufficient for a random test to assess the disease status in the district. The old system will continue in local government areas where the first dose of the vaccine is given below 80 per cent," said Veena George.
The Health Minister also directed that the collected samples should be sent to the labs without delay and the positive and negative results should be uploaded as soon as possible. "Strict action will be taken against the labs which do against this. District Health Department Officers will check the quality of Antigen and RTPCR test kits," she added.
Kerala has so far recorded over 39,77,572 positive cases, out of which, 37,51,666 have successfully recovered and 20,466 have died. As per the latest reports from MoHFW, in the last 24 hours, 31,265 new cases, 21,468 fresh recoveries and 153 deaths have been reported. Currently, the total number of active cases in the state is 2,05,440.
Image: ANI & Pixabay