Bhubaneswar: With the number of COVID-19 cases rising in the country, the Odisha government has urged the ICMR to allow three more hospitals in the state to conduct COVID-19 tests to ensure timely diagnosis of the disease.
A request has been made to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi, to grant permission to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur, Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) in Burla and Ispat General Hospital (IGH) in Rourkela for conducting COVID-19 tests, a senior official said on Friday.
“The ICMR has been requested to allow these three hospitals to conduct tests for COVID-19, in addition to the three places, where the samples of suspected cases are being tested at present,” he said, adding that it is necessary to increase testing facilities in the state in view of a spurt in coronavirus cases in the country.
This apart, orders have also been placed for procurement of additional kits for testing at least 50,000 samples in the near future, the official said.
Following the outbreak of coronavirus infection in the country, the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) in Bhubaneswar was the first in the state to start testing samples for diagnosis of the disease.
Subsequently, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar also started conducting tests for the highly infectious disease, he said.
A facility for conducting COVID-19 tests was operationalised at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack on March 31, he said.
Though Odisha has so far reported five COVID-19 cases, there is a need for more testing centres to deal with the emerging situation.
“Therefore, the state government has been taking expeditious steps to start new units for conducting COVID-19 tests and the ICMR was approached for the benefit of the people of the state, he said.
More testing facilities will ensure speedy and timely identification of patients so that they could be isolated to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the official said.
The state government has also urged the Centre to supply more high-quality masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for treatment of the COVID-19 patients.
Among other demands, we have emphasised the need for an adequate supply of N-95 masks and PPE, he said, adding that thousands of quarantine centres and isolation wards have been opened in the state to deal with the situation.
Besides, dedicated hospitals, exclusively for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, are being opened in different parts of the state as part of its preparedness to tackle any situation, he said.