Kerala to ramp up Covid testing amid rising cases

Kerala to ramp up Covid testing amid rising cases

New centres and clusters would be created based on the outcome of the sample testing methods

Representative image. Credit: AFP Photo

With Kerala recording over 30,000 Covid-19 cases in the last four days, Health Minister of the State Veena George on Sunday said the government has renewed its plan to test more number of people than before.

The Minister, in her post on Facebook, said new centres and clusters would be created based on the outcome of the sample testing methods.

In districts of the State where the first dose of vaccine has been administered, she said RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) is recommended for individuals with symptoms such as sore throat, cough and diarrhoea. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) would be done on people who frequent shops, malls, offices, institutions, and transit sites, the Minister said.

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RAT would be enough to assess the Covid-19 situation in a district and the method would be adopted in areas where the first dose of the vaccine has been given to more than 80 per cent of the people there.

She said the earlier methods of testing would continue in areas where the first dose of the vaccine has been given to less than 80 per cent of the people.

In cases where two weeks have elapsed since the second dose and if an individual is asymptomatic, they would not be subject to the tests.

Those diagnosed with the coronavirus in the past two months would also be excluded from the tests, she said. She further said the collected samples would be sent to laboratories soon and stringent action on them would be taken if th results were not uploaded in time.

The quality of RT-PCR and RAT testing kits would be checked by the District Health Department Officers, she said.

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