Amid the surge in COVID-19 infections and need for aggressive testing, Odisha Government on Saturday issued guidelines for all private hospitals, nursing homes and laboratories in the state, aiming to start COVID-19 testing by Rapid Antigen and RT PCR method.
"For Rapid Antigen Method, the nursing homes, hospitals and laboratories should be mandatorily registered under the Odisha Clinical Establishment (control and regulation) Act, 1990," the Government of Odisha, Health and Family Welfare Department stated.
"The manpower to be deployed for the purpose must be trained properly in consultation with the CDM and PHO of the concerned district," it added. The institutions have been asked to meticulously follow the ICMR and BMW guidelines for the purpose, besides dedicating an isolated swab collection booth near the premises.
Also, the rates for the testing should be as fixed by the government and the testing laboratories of the nursing homes and hospitals must be NABL accredited to conduct tests through Rapid Antigen Kits and RT PCR method, Odisha Government said.
The login credentials can be directly sought by the nursing homes and hospitals at the ICMR website and the RT PCR machines should be installed in BBL-2 laboratories observing the ICMR protocol/guidelines strictly, the state government added.
The Odisha government on Friday announced relaxations outside containment zones in the state effective August 1, following most of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, however, the state has chosen to continue with night curfews between 9 pm and 5 am till August 31, allowing only essential services to operate.
The government has allowed reopening of shopping malls but the food courts, eatery outlets, gaming zones, cinema halls inside the mall premises would remain closed, and also any promotional activity will be restricted.
The state government also increased the penalties on violation of COVID-19 guidelines and the penalty for not wearing a mask was revised from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 for the first two violations and Rs 5000 for subsequent violations.
The state has 11,182 active cases so far, while 20,518 have been recovered and 177 have succumbed to the virus, according to Union Health Ministry data.
(With ANI inputs, Image credit: PTI)