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Kerala To Have New COVID-19 Testing Strategy: Health Minister

Kerala Health Minister Veena George said that in districts where the first dose of the vaccine has been given above 80 per cent, RTPCR is recommended for individuals with any symptoms like mild sore throat, cough, and diarrhea

Kerala on August 29 recorded 29,836 fresh infections which pushed the total infection count in the state to 40,07,408
Highlights
  • Guidelines are based on the vaccination status in the districts: Govt
  • People will be screened to know the extent of the community spread: Govt
  • Random samples to be taken to find new clusters of COVID outbreaks: Govt

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Health Minister Veena George said here on Sunday that a revised Covid-19 testing strategy is being introduced in the state in the wake of 71 per cent out of the total population eligible to be vaccinated taking at least first dose of the vaccine against coronavirus. Kerala on Sunday recorded 29,836 fresh infections which pushed the total infection count in the state to 40,07,408.

Also Read: What Are COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections? How Long Does Immunity Last After COVID-19 Vaccination? An Expert Explains

Guidelines have also been issued based on the vaccination status in the districts. More people will be screened to know the exact extent of the spread of the disease in the community. The COVID spread will be assessed in all the districts based on sentinel and random samples. All the districts would take random samples to find out any new clusters of COVID outbreaks, she said.

The minister said that in districts where the first dose of the vaccine has been given above 80 per cent, RTPCR is recommended for individuals with any symptoms like mild sore throat, cough, and diarrhea.

Antigen testing will be conducted at this location as part of Sentinel Surveillance. This test is performed on people with high social contact such as shops, malls, offices, institutions, and transit sites. Antigen will also be sufficient for a random test to assess the disease status in the district. The old system will continue in local government areas where the first dose of the vaccine is given below 80 per cent, said Veena George.

Also Read: Half Of Hospitalised Covid Patients Have Persisting Symptoms After A Year: Lancet Study

Minister directed that the collected samples should be sent to the labs without delay and the positive and negative results should be uploaded as soon as possible.

Strict action will be taken against the labs which do against this. District Health Department Officers will check the quality of Antigen and RTPCR test kits, she added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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