Hyderabad: The stage is set to further ramp up Covid-19 testing in the city with authorities deciding to launch large-scale collection of swab samples from suspected patients across all government hospitals from Tuesday, Health Minister Eatala Rajender said here on Monday.
Earlier, the average per day swab sample collection in the State was between 1,000 and 1,200, which was recently increased to 4,000 samples per day. Following Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao’s directions, the Health Department was now further scaling up the sample collection at all government healthcare facilities.
For emergency Covid-19 cases, round-the-clock sample collection facilities will now be available at the district hospital in King Koti. To increase the sample collection process, authorities have completed recruitment of nearly 500 healthcare workers at the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS), Gachibowli, and another 400-500 caregivers exclusively to work in urban and community health centres in Hyderabad.
Apart from the regular fleet of existing 108 emergency ambulance services, the Health Department has also roped in the services of another 150 ambulances that will transport suspected Covid-19 cases to testing centres and government hospitals, Rajender said.
People who have suspicion that they might be infected with coronavirus, instead of walking into Gandhi Hospital, should first visit either the Government Hospital at King Koti, Fever Hospital, Chest Hospital or Osmania General Hospital, where samples will be collected and sent for testing. In case the swab samples are positive, depending on the patient’s condition, they will either be admitted to Gandhi Hospital or be kept under home isolation, the Health Minister said.
Interacting with the media here on Monday, Rajender urged people not to panic when it comes to Covid-19. “The disease is contagious but people are recovering from it. Elderly patients and those with pre-existing medical conditions should, however, be cautious,” he said.
The Minister urged the public not to fall for fake news and false propaganda across various social media outlets by vested interests. “There is no doubt that there are vested interests who want to create panic and disturb the mental frame of mind of people. I would urge the public to believe news that is being issued only by government sources,” Rajender said.
The Chief Minister directed health officials to identify regions where Covid-19 cases were being reported in large numbers and mark them as containment zones. “We will implement stringent measures at all the identified containment zones to break the transmission chain of the virus,” he said.
Central team appreciates facilities
The Central team led by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), New Delhi, Luv Agarwal, appreciated the hospital management facilities for Covid-19 positive patients in the Telangana State. While interacting with Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, the team also shared their field visit experiences of other Indian States. It also suggested the State authorities to focus on containment measures, increasing testing capacity, tracing and clinical management of Covid-19 patients in the State. Earlier, in the day, the Central team visited Gandhi Hospital, Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) Gachibowli and took stock of the situation of Covid-19 in Hyderabad.
‘TS keeps mortality rate low’
Telangana State has far less mortality rate of Covid-19 positive patients than the national average and all out efforts are on to improve the recovery rate of positive patients who are under home isolation, Health Minister Eatala Rajender on Monday said.
The mortality rate of Covid-19 positive patients is 1.7 per cent in Telangana, which means roughly for every 100 confirmed positive cases, two persons have died from the virus, while the national average is close to 3 per cent. “Apart from low mortality rate, we have large number of positive patients who are under home isolation. We are implementing ICMR guidelines for home isolation,” Rajender said.
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