covid 19: Karnataka: Daily Covid-19 testing target reduced to 60,000 | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: With daily Covid-19 cases in the state falling below 300, the Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) had recommended that the government further reduce daily tests for the infection to 60,000 from the current 1.1 lakh.
The state health and family welfare department decided to implement the recommendation and issued a circular to that effect on Monday. Under the revised target, Bengaluru Urban (inclusive of BBMP) must conduct 30,000 tests a day.
The circular also states that 50% of the tests need to be done at the district headquarters and the rest in other parts of the districts, while 5% of tests every week must be on randomly selected children above 12 years of age.
The circular, issued by Dr Arundhathi Chandrashekar, nodal officer for Covid-19 testing and mission director, National Health Mission, Karnataka, states 20% of all tests should be via the rapid antigen method. “Currently, the test positivity rate among school children is 0.1%. Regular tests must be conducted on school students,” she said.
The circular mandates that if the positivity rate among children is 1% or more in a week, then related classrooms will be closed for seven days, the school sanitised and contacts of infected students tested. Classes can be reopened after contacts infected student test negative on the seventh day.
Dr MK Sudarshan, chairperson, TAC, said the test positivity rate has remained steady at less than 0.4% in the state for more than a month now. “Although there was crowding for social and cultural events, there has been no increase in Covid-19 cases. It’s also prudent to conserve resources,” said Dr Sudarshan. Besides, since cases have come down, the number of contacts testing positive has also naturally declined, he said.
However, he said, the TAC will keep a watch on the positivity rate and will advise the government accordingly. Meanwhile, officials said there is stiff resistance among the public to Covid-19 testing, although those with symptoms must be subjected to testing.
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Sagar Biswas

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