'Test SARI, ILI patients in green districts for COVID'

Chief Secretary orders to test SARI, ILI patients in 10 coronavirus-free districts in Karnataka

 Representative image. (Credit: AFP Photo)

Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar has ordered 100 samples of severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI) patients to be tested for COVID-19 per day for three days in coronavirus-free districts of Karnataka. In an order issued last Friday, he ordered the tests for three days from Saturday to Monday. Thereafter, he asked the districts to test 50 samples per day. So far, none have tested positive. Results of around 1,485 people are awaited.

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According to Minister S Suresh Kumar, in-charge of media briefings, the districts that have no reported cases of COVID-19 are Chamarajanagar, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Haveri, Kolar, Koppal, Raichur, Ramnagar, Shivamogga and Yadgir.

Till Thursday, 4,631 samples were collected from SARI and ILI patients though there is no break up between the two available. 3,146 people tested negative.

Dr Ravi MC, district health officer (DHO), Chamarajanagar, told DH, "After the order came, we were able to collect 100 SARI samples and 118 ILI samples and send it to Mysuru for testing. We did not get 100 samples per day as we did not find those many people suffering from SARI and ILI. While all the SARI samples tested negative, ILI reports are awaited."

Dr Umesh SN, the DHO of Chikkamagaluru said apart from hospital-based survey, the accredited social health activists (ASHAs), auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and Anganwadi workers also went from house to house to motivate people for swab collection but did not reach the target of 100 samples per day. The district has so far tested 415 people, 53 suffering from SARI and 364 suffering from ILI. none have tested positive and the reports of six are awaited.

"If Karnataka were to have 20,000 COVID-19 cases, our district has been asked to prepare to treat 306 patients. We have readied all the required infrastructure for that," Umesh said.

Dr Vijaykumar SN, DHO, Kolar said that the SARI and ILI cases they found since Monday in their district were in single digit except on Wednesday when 14 SARI cases were found and one SARI case. In all, samples in 37 SARI and ILI cases have been sent for testing. So far none has returned positive. "Ever since the pandemic began, Kolar has sent 1,233 samples for testing, results of 150 are pending, 18 were rejected and 1,065 have come back negative," he told DH.

Dr Rajendra Doddamani, DHO, Haveri, said that they had tested 465 SARI and ILI patients since Sunday and the results of 339 were awaited, but 126 had tested negative. The district was able to find more than 100 patients of SARI and ILI everyday.