Govt of India asks state govt to change its testing pattern and conduct about 10,000 tests in Guwahati every day
GUWAHATI: Following the increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases in the last couple of weeks in and around Guwahati, the Centre has expressed concern. It has asked the state government to change its testing pattern and conduct about 10,000 tests in Guwahati every day.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) observed a Delhi-Mumbai like pattern in Guwahati in the last four to five days. Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Union home minister Amit Shah spoke to me on Tuesday over telephone expressing concern at the situation in Guwahati. ICMR has observed a Delhi-Mumbai like pattern in Guwahati in the last four/ five days. The Union home minister, DG, ICMR and union health secretary held a separate meeting on Tuesday on the situation in Guwahati. As a follow-up, DG, ICMR Wednesday held a video conference with the state’s principal secretary.”
In the last seven days, the city recorded 1,212 positive cases. On Wednesday, 383 positive cases were detected in the city while another 157 cases were detected till the noon.
Since Tuesday, the health department is also getting moderate level symptomatic cases in Guwahati, causing more worry for the government.
Following an advisory from ICMR, the state health department will be using rapid antigen testing - known as the Standard Q COVID-19 Ag kit. The antigen detection test does not require any specialised machine, and it can show results within 30 minutes and “can be interpreted with a naked eye”.
It’s a point-of-care test, which means it can be performed outside a lab. The antigen test kit has been developed by a South Korean biotechnology firm SD Biosensor. Each kit will cost Rs 450.
ICMR has said those people who get negative results on the rapid antigen kit must be retested using RT-PCR, given the antigen test’s low sensitivity, while those who get positive results needn’t get a retest.
“We will be conducting a training for health personnel and we hope to launch the tests from Friday,” Sarma said, hoping that the health department would be able to “separate the positive cases in the city by July 10”.
In his Twitter message at 11.55 pm., on Wednesday, minister Sarma said, “Alert ~ 408 new #COVID19+ cases detected today.
In last 24 hours 378 cases reported from Guwahati City. We request all to follow lockdown rules sincerely.
Total cases 8955
Active cases 3109
11:55 PM/ July 01/ Day's total 548”
Minister Sarma inaugurated a 900-bed COVID-19 hospital at Khanapara field in Guwahati on Wednesday. This comes as a necessity, as the city has been constantly reporting a substantial number of COVID-19 cases on a daily basis.
Assam government has also set up a 450-bed COVID19 care hospital at Maniram Dewan Trade Centre, Guwahati, which will be functional soon.