Don’t rush for Covid test without symptoms: TS Health officials

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Healthcare worker collecting sample for Covid test at Nature Cure Hospital in Hyderabad. -Photo: Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The State public health officials have urged the general public not to unnecessarily rush to government health care facilities for Covid tests if they don’t have any symptoms. Due to panic, a large number of healthy individuals with no symptoms were rushing to government Covid testing centres for getting tested, as a result deserving persons were unable to avail the facility, officials said.

To ensure persons with symptoms get access to testing kits and to make sure there is rational use, orders have also been issued to the medical officers at the testing centres to ensure they screen the individuals for symptoms of Covid before conducting rapid Covid antigen test.

Officials point out instances where individuals were getting tested for Covid twice and even thrice in just one week at free Covid testing centres.

“People must also realise that they are exposing themselves to infections by turning up in large numbers at the testing centres,” Director of Public Health (DPH) Dr G Srinivasa Rao said during a recent interaction with presspersons.

In order to avoid testing centres turning into breeding grounds for infections, authorities have urged people to visit a testing centre only if they have symptoms. “Cough, cold, redness in the eyes, diarrhoea, loss of smell and taste are some of the most common symptoms. Individuals with these symptoms only must get tested,” Dr Rao said.

Senior doctors also pointed out that due to the second wave of the pandemic, the cost and demand for rapid antigen kits has gone up in the last few months. Before the second wave, a typical testing kit used to cost Rs 30 but now it costs anywhere between Rs 80 and Rs 90. Even if States are ready to purchase the testing kits, due to heavy demand across the country, the availability of the rapid testing kits has slowed down.

“There is a definite need for rational use of Covid testing kits during the pandemic. People should ensure they undergo tests only if they develop symptoms. They should not panic and unnecessarily rush to testing centres,” a senior health official added.


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