Following a high-level meeting held with the regional deputy director of health, the Vadodara city administration prepared a plan to increase Vadodara’s COVID-19 testing capacity to 1,000 tests per day, from the current 150-200 tests everyday. Additionally, the sample collection is also targeted to be increased from 200 tests to 500 tests per day.
Officer on Special Duty, Vinod Rao said, “At present, 150-200 samples are being tested in a single day at SSG hospital. In the coming days, testing capacities will become operational at Dheeraj hospital as well as Parul medical college and hospital. Bhailal Amin, along with two private labs in a tripartite agreement have also sought approval for COVID-19 testing. Meanwhile, the procedure for approval to test at GMERS (Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society) is also underway. After an approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research in the next seven to 10 days, Vadodara will have the capacity to test 1,000 samples in a day. We are also providing training to medical staff to enhance the quantity and quality of the samples.”
So far, 1,380 samples have been tested in Vadodara with a positive rate of 10 percent, which is the highest in the state, Rao added.
Following another major decision taken today, starting Friday, all patients referred to COVID dedicated hospitals will be tested and treated at the hospitals themselves.
“Those who visit any hospitals like SSG, or any of the private hospitals with dedicated COVID facilities, will be tested and treated there itself. They do not have to be referred to GMERS anymore. The staff at these hospitals will be well equipped with Personal Protective Equipment kits to treat the patients and follow protocol. Samples for testing will be collected there itself and sent to our designated testing labs, so that the patient doesn’t have to move from one place to another,” Rao said..
In the next seven days, a 200-bed facility will also be developed at SSG hospital, which will function as a COVID hospital with GMERS. At GMERS, with a dedicated hospital for COVID patients, two pulmonologists, 15 medical officers, 30 staff nurses and 30 paramedics have been hired with immediate effect.
Additionally, the administration has also begun training field workers including health, sanitation and fire officials and anganwadi workers, so as to ensure their safety and security in the times of COVID so that they do not become carriers.
“All front-line and field workers of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation will also undergo a hydroxychloroquine profile treatment, similar to health workers, to start from Friday for their self defence,” Rao said.
So far, 664 patients have been admitted at GMERS of which 470 have been discharged. Currently, 41 positive patients are admitted at GMERS and 76 at ITI Ajwa Corona care centre. Results of 73 samples of those admitted at GMERS are awaited. Two positive patients are under kidney dialysis and one patient is on a ventilator.
AMC seeks public support to fund testing in private labs
The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation on Thursday launched ‘sponsor a test’ initiative urging people who can afford to fund the testing expenses of the poor who are tested in private labs.
Against 20-30 tests done in a day till 10 days back, the civic body has recently started mass testing to contain the spread under its intensive surveillance and aggressive testing mechanism. AMC on Thursday tested 1,247 samples in a day.
“So far, for testing we were relying on the government and AMC labs, but from today (Thursday) we have started sending samples to three private labs. We held a meeting and submitted a proposal to these labs where we have proposed Rs 2,000 per test against Rs 4,500 charged by the private labs for testing,” AMC commissioner Vijay Nehra said.
“Under the ‘sponsor a test’ initiative, I request, especially those citizens, including developers, businessmen and industrialists, to come forward to fund the testing expenses of the poor people who have to be tested in private labs. This is an initiative to use infrastructure and capabilities of private labs at the same time associate all those who want to help fight this pandemic. Through this initiative we can test 1,500 samples in a day now,” Nehra added.
Under its mass testing campaign, AMC has completed screening and testing of Gulbai Tekra, one of the largest slums in Ahmedabad, after one of the slum dwellers tested positive for coronavirus two days back.
During screening of over 10,000 residents undertaken by 20 health teams, samples of 206 suspected cases were collected out of which six have tested positive on Wednesday evening. Following this the entire slum has been put under cluster quarantine.
From Thursday, screening of another largest slum, Ramapir nu Tekra with nearly 20,000 population has been initiated. As many as 30 medical teams have been deployed for the screening and sample collection.
Nehra said that the aim is to complete screening of Ramapir nu Tekra by Friday and the test expenses of all those suspected cases is being borne by a city-based private developer.
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