If most PHCs in the state manage to achieve the new daily testing target, the state will reach a testing rate of over 1.5 lakh tests per day. Following a recent cabinet meeting over increasing the tests, the state health department had boosted the number of tests from an average of around 60,000 tests per day to almost 90,000 tests per day on average.
According to highly-placed sources within the health department, the new target is aimed at achieving at least one lakh tests per day till the end of June. After that, a discussion on new testing targets will be taken up and a decision will be taken in accordance with the prevailing situation.
Apart from fixing a new daily testing target for PHCs, another major change has been initiated in the pattern of testing. Earlier, people would approach the identified testing centres in PHCs to get tested but now testing will be carried out based on the findings of the fever survey. Those identified as symptomatic during the survey will be divided into small groups and then taken to select locations for their Covid-19 tests. “Each Asha worker and ANM has been given a target of identifying a fixed number of symptomatic persons. They (the symptomatic persons) will be brought to the designated place with assistance from local technicians and their tests will be performed. These tests will fall within the daily target set for PHCs at 250,” informed an official from the state health department.
Speaking to TOI over the increased rate of testing, state public health director Dr Srinivasa Rao said the objective behind the move was to ensure that no one is denied testing in the state. “There is abundant availability of antigen kits in the state,” he said.