COVID-19: TS chief secretary asks collectors to ramp up testing

Hyderabad: Telangana chief secretary Somesh Kumar directed all district collectors in the state to ramp up COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in view of the increasing number of cases over the past week. In a video conference held to review arrangements, he asked them to “steeply increase and double the number of tests” being done on a daily basis in order to identify as many COVID-19 positive persons as possible.

Kumar also told district collectors to ensure that the pace of testing does not come down on weekends and holidays and that all testing centres must work on all days of the week. The chief secretary also asked Collectors to ensure use of new testing app for meticulous contact tracing of every positive person and their subsequent testing also.

In line with ICMR’s testing guidelines version 6, dated September 4 2020, the collectors were also asked to ensure that all symptomatic persons found negative in Rapid Antigen Tests to also undergo RTPCR tests as well. Kumar stressed the importance of on-the-spot assessment and counselling of all COVID positive persons by doctors at the testing location itself.

He also emphasised the need to hand over a kit of essential medicines to all persons found fit for home isolation. Further, persons in home isolation were to be monitored by home visits/tele-calling, said a press release from his office on Tuesday. Ramping up of COVID vaccinations

Kumar also directed collectors to ramp up the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations. With relaxation to vaccinate all persons above the age of 45 years irrespective of comorbidity, the Government Covid Vaccination Centres (GCVCs)
have been opened down to the PHC level increasing the number of GCVCs from 142 to over one thousand, he stated. The chief secretary asked district collectors to ensure that people were made aware of the locations of the GCVCs.

Furthermore, he fixed minimum performance benchmarks for all GCVCs with a minimum of 100 for public healthcare centres (PHC), 200 for area hospitals/community health centres and 300 for district hospitals/government general hospitals so as to ensure that daily vaccinations in GCVCs across the states exceeds 1.25 lakh a day from the
present figure of 50,000.

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