TS under attack for its low number of Covid19 testings

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The state government appears to be coming under severe attack from various quarters for its lowest number of Covid19 testings in the state.

The Union Government has held the state responsible for its lowest number of tests due to its pro-active policy on the covid19 testings. In a letter addressed to the Chief Secretary on Wednesday, the Principal Secretary Health and Family Welfare Preeti Sudan pointed out that Telangana state accounted for just 1.5 per cent of more than 20 lakh total tests done nationwide so far which she claimed that it was far behind Delhi, Gujarath, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

According to DG, ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava informed the Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting held on May 15 that the testing capacity has increased in the country to 1,00,000 tests per day through 509 government and private laboratories. Nearly 20 lakh cumulative tests have been conducted in the country, as on date. It was also alleged that state government had failed to utilise the services of private laboratories while the state maintained that they would use the services of CCMB whose capacity was projected at 1000 tests per day.

The change in the state government’s approach to its testing policy was visible, especially after the ICMR, asked the states in the first week of May to stop using the Chinese Rapid Test kits and return the consignments immediately as they are of poor quality. The rapid testings that were stopped at that point never resumed again.

Though the number of positive cases appears to have come down in between after the state government stopped using rapid test kits. But suddenly the cases began to rise and no attempt was neither made by KCR nor by the health minister Etela Rajendar to explain the reasons for the rise. Etela Rajender had been maintaining that everything was in order and no lapse from their end.

However, the adjoining AP continued its rapid testings vigorously unhindered up to 9000 tests a day using the Korean testing kits imported for the purpose whereas Telangana could hardly conduct testings 200 per day. The Union ministry further pointed out that the positivity rate in Telangana stands at 5.26% while the same stands at 4.12% at the national level. This gives us the scope to suspect the state government’s intention.

The grapevine in political circles is that of late the KCR government has come under pressure from its political alloy MIM to go smooth on the testings as most of the cases are being detected from the old city area which is considered as its bastion in order to avoid losing its reputation. This obviously has slowed down the testing capacity of the state in spite of the fact that its policy was unchanged officially.

Reacting on this, President of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that KCR had been camouflaging the factual figures of covid tests being conducted in the state thereby endangering the lives of lakhs of people in the state.

Addressing the media today, another senior leader Gudur Narayan Reddy alleged that KCR had violated the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) regulations in this regard.