Ensuring Daily Covid Testing Targets Are Met: Panel of Experts at the Government of Karnataka

The Covid-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) formed by the Government of Karnataka reminded the latter to ensure that daily testing targets are met with nearly 50,000 samples of the 1.1 lakh test total, recommended until November, to be taken only from Bengaluru.

The government had set itself the target of carrying out 1.5 lakh of tests per day, but the figures vary between 78,958 (October 4) and 1,69,319 (October 2).

Indian express spoke to several District Health Workers (DHOs), who admitted that the daily screening target for their respective districts had not been met for almost a month now. “People seem to have developed a pitted reluctance to share details of their contacts these days, with many of the symptomatic patients themselves unwilling to be tested. This has affected the contact tracing to a large extent because in most cases the number of contacts we can get is limited to less than 10 these days, ”said a DHO from a northern Karnataka district. on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, virologist and TAC member Dr V Ravi felt that it was ideal that a 1:20 ratio of patients to contacts be maintained statewide. “It is imperative that we stick to the core priorities of tracing and testing. While we had maintained a contact tracing ratio of 1:40 during the first wave, the priority at this time should be to test all symptomatic people with an aggressive approach implemented in contact tracing. More testing should be done in areas where clusters are reported, ”he said.

However, the TAC in its latest report to the government reduced the target from 1.5 lakh to 1.1 lakh, citing the drop in the overall test positivity rate (TPR) in the state to less than 0.5. %.

“With a general decline in the number of cases, a review of testing targets has been called for,” the report said, citing the expert panel’s observation that nearly 40% of the total cases identified daily continue to come from the only town of Bengaluru.

He also noted that five districts (Bagalkot, Gadag, Haveri, Koppal, Raichur and Yadgir) had not reported any cases for several days. The two districts with the highest TPR, as of October 9, were Chikkamagaluru (1.25%) and Hassan (1.04%).

The TAC also recommended that the deficit in testing targets can be mitigated by drawing random samples, including among Kerala and Maharashtra interstate arrivals at train and bus stations, home delivery staff , crowded markets, traders and restaurant staff.

Meanwhile, the panel further reiterated that 10 percent of samples taken from districts should come from children attending offline classes in schools.

According to the Karnataka Covid-19 War Room, three districts in the state have tested more than 35,000 people per million in the past 10 days. These are Bengaluru Urban (46,963), Kodagu (39,301) and Dakshina Kannada (38,982).

To date, the state has cumulatively tested more than 4.9 crore of samples, of which more than 3.4 crore were tested in 2021 alone. Of the total, over 92.59 lakh (18.87%) were tested using the Rapid Antigen (RAT) method.

“If there is a shortfall to meet test targets, random samples from overcrowded populations and others like those from closed markets, traders, caterers, catering staff, home delivery staff, inter- arrivals. Other Mahand states should be tested, ”TAC reports. declared.