Covid testing stepped up in Telangana

Proper planning and a few more testing centres in districts could potentially increase the testing capacity to 10,000 samples per day in the State.

Hyderabad: Ten government laboratories in the State are operating to their full capacities following the increase in collection of samples from suspected Covid-19 patients. As a result, in the next few days, the number of samples being tested at government laboratories is likely to touch the 6,000 mark in Telangana.

Senior government epidemiologists expressed confidence that once the workload of laboratories and distribution of the samples is further streamlined and made efficient, the number of samples from Covid-19 suspected patients can be increased to more than 6,000 per day. Proper planning and a few more testing centres in the districts could potentially increase the testing capacity to 10,000 samples per day in the State, they said.

“At Fever Hospital and Institute of Preventive Medicine (IPM), we are capable of testing 2,400 swab samples per day in three shifts. Almost all the government laboratories have now completed recruitment of trained microbiologists and scientists, needed to conduct Covid-19 tests,” says Superintendent, Fever Hospital and Director, IPM, Dr. K Shankar.

The laboratory at Fever Hospital had two RT PCR machines and recently two more were shifted from government hospitals of Nalgonda and Nizamabad to Fever Hospital. The high-end laboratory at IPM already has two PCR machines and both the laboratories can work in tandem to test 2, 400 samples per day.

The laboratory at Osmania Medical College also recruited a scientist, technicians and procured a high-end RNA extractor to expand its capacity.

“Since past four to five days, we are operating to our capacity, as we have recruited a genetic scientist and microbiologists. At present, our capacity is 500 samples per day but we are ready to take more in the coming days,” says Principal, Osmania Medical College, Dr. P Shashikala Reddy.

Sample collecting points:

The government laboratories in Hyderabad receive swab samples from various sample collection points for testing. On Tuesday, Health Minister, Eatala Rajender urged people to visit these centres and get tested.

“People are coming in large numbers to get themselves tested and the number of samples has increased considerably. Anybody who needs to be tested will be tested,” Rajender assured.

“Till a few days ago, we used to collect 100 to 110 swab samples from patients. However, today we collected 203 swab samples from suspected patients while yesterday it was 193 swab samples. All the collection centres are gradually ramping-up their capacities so that more number of samples can be tested,” says Superintendent, District Hospital, King Koti, Dr. Mallikarjuna.

Sample Collection centres

-District Hospital in King Koti
-Fever Hospital, Nallakunta
-Chest Hospital, Erragadda,
-Nature Cure Hospital, Ameerpet
-SD Eye Hospital, Mehdipatnam
-Ayurveda Hospital, Erragadda
-Homeopathy Hospital, Ramanthapur
-Nizamia Tibbi Hospital, Charminar
-Area Hospital in Kondapur
-Area Hospital in Vanasthalipuram
-Nacharam ESI Hospital
-Saroornagar ESI Hospital.

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