Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: Despite Bihar reporting its first positive Covid-19 case nearly a week after Odisha, the total Covid-19 tests conducted in the State stood at nearly 1.75 times more than Odisha.

In order to a give a big impetus to State's Covid-19 testing capacity, the State government visualises a large-scale n-CoV testing in the State in coming days.

Moreover, Odisha's key anti-Covid-19 strategy got a boost post the functioning of state-of-art COBAS 6800 system at Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) here. Also, the likely requisition  of nearly 1 lakh rapid test kits soon will enhance the state's Covid-19 testing capacity.

Why Covid-19 testing in a large-scale way has emerged as the key component of Odisha's battle against the novel coronavirus?

The key reason behind has been outlined today by Director Medical Education and Training (DMET) CBK Mohanty. He said the State government's set a target to conduct rapid Covid-19 tests on over 2 lakh people, especially migrant workers, to resolve the quarantine blues.

"The approval of antibody-based rapid testing of coronavirus by Centre will prove a boon for Odisha. Already nearly a lakh migrant workers have returned to the state from high-burden states. Reports have come about friction between returnees and villagers. Quarantining such a large population is also proving taxing for the administration. Since the current confirmatory real-time PCR is time consuming, the rapid test will come handy in eliminating nearly 98 per cent of tests that test negative in RTPCR," said DMET CBK Mohanty.

Moreover, with 80 per cent novel coronavirus positives in State being asymptomatic, scaling up the testing capacity in Odisha is the first priority, Mohanty added.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 health bulletin of the State government today revealed two Covid-19 positives in State are critical and are on ventilator support. It further added results of 400 tests sent today for examination are awaited. The total active Covid-19 positives in State stood at 45 as on 9 AM today.

Talking to media today, RMRC Bhubaneswar Director Sanghamitra Pati informed that RMRC, an arm of ICMR, has become the 2nd such institute in the country to put in place the advanced COBAS 6800 system, an automated state-of art Covid-19 testing system manufactured by Roche Diagnostics.

As per the information available, the current capacity of Covid-19 tests as on today stood at around 475. But the average utilisation of the testing capacity stood at around 61 per cent during the period of April 1 - 9.

In the given context, all eyes are on the utilisation of the testing capacity in the state in the coming week, when the total capacity will see a surge to 1175, nearly 2.5 times that of the existing Covid-19 testing capacity.  

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