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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to scale up testing, Odisha will soon start ‘pool testing’ of the samples of suspected Coronavirus cases.

The Centre has okayed the proposal for pool testing and soon the infrastructure at Burla medical will be upgraded with necessary equipment, informed State Health and Family Welfare Minister, Naba Das after a meeting of the high-level ministerial committee held today.

According to sources, under this method, multiple swab samples are pooled together and tested. The number of samples that can be pooled will be determined by the infection rate.

“Initially, 100 tests were conducted per day which was subsequently increased to 1,000 to 1,200 tests. Now we plan to conduct 2,000 to 3,000 tests per day,” said Das.

Out of the total 6,734 samples tested till yesterday, the State reported only 60 positive cases with a positivity rate of 1.23 per cent.

Besides, a proposal has been made by the state to set up NDRF-like health disaster management training centre so that doctors, paramedics, nurses, anganwadi, ASHA workers and others can be imparted advance training for immediate deployment during future health exigencies.

Odisha Director of Public Health, Ajit Mohanty today informed that the Centre is planning to collect random samples from a population of 10,000 in all districts unaffected by COVID19 which will help to give an epidemiological estimate on the spread of the disease and ways to prevent it.

Mohanty informed that bulk of testing is being conducted at RMRC in Bhubaneswar and SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and efforts are on to conduct tests in all government medical colleges in the State while labs will also be set up in different parts of the State.

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