Kits to conduct 4,000 tests for COVID-19 reach Odisha

(Eds: Correcting headline)

Bhubaneswar, Apr 10 () Amid spurt in COVID-19 cases, the Odisha government has procured a substantialnumberof test kits and other materials as part of its measures toensure speedy detection of coronavirus infections in thestate, official sources said on Friday.

Kits for conducting at least 4,000 tests, reagents andvirus transportation mediums (VTMs) were airlifted from Mumbaion Thursday as the government stepped up its drive to enhanceCOVID-19 testing facilities in the state, an official said.

The kits will give a considerable boost to the statespreparedness to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak, he said.Advertisement

"#COVID 19 test kits for 4,000 tests, reagents & VTMswere airlifted from Mumbai through special air cargo. It willstrengthen #Odisha Governments efforts to ramp up the#coronavirus testing facilities in the state, the healthdepartment tweeted.

The arrival of the kits was significant as Odisha isnow all set to start coronavirus testing at three morelocations in addition to the four existing test facilities inthe state, he said.

The aim is to put in place adequate capacities soonto conduct at least 1,000 tests for COVID-19 daily, thesenior official said.

The state government has also decided to start testsfor COVID-19 at MKCG Medical College Hospital in Berhampurfrom April 12, at VIMSAR in Burla from April 15 and at IGH inRourkela from April 17.

The tests are now being conducted in RMRC, AIIMS andInstitute of Life Sciences (ILC) in Bhubaneswar and SCBMedical College and Hospital in Cuttack, the official said.The three new testing facilities will ensure speedydetection in western and southern parts of the state, he said.Advertisement

The fresh kits were received barely two days after3,500 kg of medical equipment from ICMR was airlifted by anIndian Air Force aircraft from Tambaram for the establishmentof medical labs and other facilities in the state.

Besides, the state government is all set to purchaseICMR recognised COVID-19 rapid testing kits.

One lakh rapid testing kits will be purchased soon sothat more COVID-19 tests can be conducted, the official said.Advertisement

The Odisha government, which has extended the lockdowntill April 30 to curb the spread of COVID-19, also aims atsetting up around 34 dedicated hospitals exclusively forCOVID-19 patients with over 6,000 beds, he said.

So far several COVID-19 hospitals with a capacity ofaround 1,600 beds have been made operational in the state.The focus at present is on ensuring adequate stock of masks,particularly special N-95 masks, personnel protectionequipment (PPE) and testing kits, he said, adding that thestate has sufficient stock to meet the requirements.

To meet the manpower requirements, the stategovernment has trained 1,500 persons, including MBBS students,postgraduate students, serving doctors and master trainers,for district hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 patients,the official said.Advertisement

It has also been decided to engage 1,620 AYUSHpersonnel, including doctors, postgraduates and undergraduatestudents, for combating COVID-19 and its management in thestate, he said.

Similarly, 360 districts and 2,264 block-level mastertrainers have been trained to handle COVID-19 patients.

To meet the expenses required for preventive measuresagainst COVID-19 and treatment of patients, the Odishagovernment on Thursday increased the corpus of its contingencyfund five times from Rs 400 crore to Rs 2,000 crore.Advertisement

Odisha has so far reported 48 COVID-19 cases.

The disease has claimed one life so far, while twoothers have been cured and discharged. SKN SBNSBN SBN

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