Covid cases increase but testing remains limited in TN

More than one lakh samples were being tested across the State a daily basis when 1,000-1,500 cases were being reported in Tamil Nadu earlier this year.
A fruit vendor pulls his cart as he walks past a wall mural depicting a front-line Covid-19 worker
A fruit vendor pulls his cart as he walks past a wall mural depicting a front-line Covid-19 workerAFP

CHENNAI: Even as Covid cases continue to increase, the testing of samples have been only around 25,000 samples. The testing is comparatively very less than what was being done earlier when State reported close to 1,500 daily cases. The increasing positivity levels in some districts is concerning as the testing remains low and the spread of infection is high due to the highly transmissible nature of the sub-variants.

More than one lakh samples were being tested across the State a daily basis when 1,000-1,500 cases were being reported in Tamil Nadu earlier this year. However, the testing of samples is as low as about 20-25 per cent currently with only about 25,000 samples being tested on a daily basis.

Health Minister Ma Subramanian earlier announced that the district health care officials have been asked to intensify the testing of samples as the positivity rate in several districts, especially Chennai and Chennai neighbouring districts are seeing a spike in the cases. However, the testing has only gone up by 5,000-8,000 in past two weeks in the State.

The officials from the Directorate of Public Health and Preventive Medicine say that as the symptoms are not severe, people hesitate to test and assume it to be common cold and cough. However, the testing of samples is being increased in each district gradually and contact tracing of more number of people would also improve the testing, say officials.

"The testing protocols have been revised from earlier and the contract tracing of the positive cases is being done. The voluntary testing from the end of those experiencing the symptoms has also reduced. However, more instructions have been issued to increase the testing and if required, necessary change of protocols for the testing of samples can be done, " said health secretary P Senthilkumar.

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