Odisha COVID19 Anomaly: Cases Explode, But Tests On Decline
Bhubaneswar: Despite a steep rise in COVID-19 positive cases, there has been no significant improvement in the number of tests being conducted per day in Odisha, which has raised questions on the state’s coronavirus-response strategy.
The number of tests per day had crossed 5,000 mark after Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, on May 5, called upon officials to buckle up and increase capacity to 15,000 tests per day. However, the number of RT PCR tests has now slumped below 4,000 per day.
Following CM’s target of 15,000 tests per day, the number of tests had crossed the 5,000 mark on May 19, 21,22 and 23. However, despite COVID-19 cases are witnessing a significant surge in the month of June; surprisingly, testing has been on a decline with daily testing numbers remaining below the 4,000 mark in the last five days.
As per official sources, Odisha conducted 3, 317 tests on June 7, 2,969 on June 8, 3,026 on June 9, 3,333 on June 10, while 3, 833 tests were conducted on June 11.
Tamil Nadu is conducting nearly 15,000 to 16,000 tests per day while Supreme Court today rapped Delhi government for low testing rate.
What begs explanation are certain puzzling trends like lower testing despite return of nearly 5 lakh migrants from other States. Is the State government trying to reduce the number of COVID-19 positive cases by conducting less number of tests? Such questions are now baffling many.
Apart from low testing, concerns are now being expressed over the discharge of people from quarantine centres without COVID-19 tests. Even after their release from quarantine centres, many migrants are allegedly not being allowed to enter villages while others are reluctant to go to their homes citing risks to families.
(Edited by Bikram Keshari Jena)