Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy got tested for COVID-19 by one of the one lakh rapid testing kits that the state imported from South Korea on Friday. The Chief Minister's test results were negative. The testing kits imported are expected to ramp-up COVID-19 testing in Andhra Pradesh.
So far, the state has reported 572 positive cases while 36 have recovered. Andhra Pradesh has also witnessed 14 deaths. The state is planning to conduct 4,000 COVID-19 tests every day which is almost double the number of the present 2,100 COVID-19 tests being conducted.
Hon'ble Chief Minister @ysjagan tried one of the ,#Covid_19 Rapid Testing Kits that arrived from South Korea this morning. He was tested negative. #APRampsUpTesting #APFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/gBEh7y1nDm— CMO Andhra Pradesh (@AndhraPradeshCM) April 17, 2020
According to a release by the Andhra Pradesh CMO earlier, the decision to double the number of COVID-19 tests was revealed during a meeting held by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Wednesday. CM Reddy has instructed officials to conduct rapid testing taking every Mandal as a unit in the state. He also ordered the officials to provide financial assistance to the poor returning to their homes from the quarantine facility.
"The Chief Minister sought details on the facilities being provided at quarantine centres and ordered the officials to provide Rs 2,000 financial assistance to the poor who are returning home from quarantine centres besides performing weekly tests," the release added.
Meanwhile, in a piece of good news, the Ministry of Health said on Friday said the average growth rate of COVID-19 cases has declined by 40% from mid-March to now while the doubling rate of the disease has gone up to 6.2 days according to the data of the last seven days. The Ministry informed that the doubling rate is lower than the national level in 19 States and Union Territories. The recovery rate of COVID-19 patients has also improved to 13.06%.
"The average growth factor of cases has been 1.2 from April 1, while during March 15-31, the average growth factor was 2.1. This decline of 40% has occurred due to an increase in testing, including testing of SARI (severe acute respiratory illness) and ILI (influenza-like illness) cases," Joint Secretary of Health Lav Agarwal said.