Bhubaneswar: Amid tall claims by the Odisha Health department that the Covid-19 graph is plateauing, allegations on low testing, unavailability of testing kits and mismanagement at testing centres across Odisha have come to fore.
With Odisha constantly witnessing a daily spike of over 6,000 new Covid-19 cases since the last five days, speculations are rife that the graph is flattening due to less testing.
Even though, the Health department is claiming that there is no shortage of testing kits and people are more keen to test themselves, locals of Komna block in Nuapada district have alleged that they couldn’t undergo test even after standing in long queues for hours due unavailability of staff and kits.
“I am standing in queue since the morning to get my Covid test done. After waiting for hours when my turn came up, I was asked to come tomorrow as there was no testing kit left,” said a Nuapada resident.
Surprisingly, Komna hospital authorities have also admitted to the allegations.
“We have a target of 100 antigen and 40 RT-PCR tests. But, we couldn’t meet it due to shorting of testing kits,” said Bhawna Nagpure, Covid In-charge, Komna hospital.
Forget about Nuapada, the scenes in the State Capital is also alarming. People from all age groups are queueing up in Capital Hospital for hours to test themselves. Khordha is also no exception.
“I fear, I would test positive for Covid-19 after standing here in queue for long hours. Nobody knows, who will infect whom,” said a Bhubaneswar resident.
Echoing in similar fashion, a resident of Khordha said, “It is becoming very difficult to move from one counter to another in this scorching heat to get yourself tested. I request the government to come up with a permanent solution to this problem.”
Going by the daily Covid-19 data of last four days, the Health department claims the daily graph is plateauing, and the daily death toll is soaring. Amid allegations of low testing, questions are now being raised on the claims of State government.
Meanwhile, refuting the allegations the director of Public Health Niranjan Mishra claimed that there is no shortage of testing kits in the State and more emphasis is being given to targeted sampling.
“The demand for testing has increased. There are sufficient testing kits at all testing centres,” Mishra said.