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Karnataka launches drive to detect TB among patients recovering from Covid

According to officials, the testing drive has been scheduled to be held till August 31.

Written by Ralph Alex Arakal | Bengaluru |
Updated: August 17, 2021 5:35:16 pm
Tuberculosis evaluation drives in the state were “slightly hit” by the coronavirus pandemic. (Twitter/Ralph Alex Arakal)

The Karnataka government Tuesday launched a drive to evaluate post-Covid complications among people who have recovered from the infection. The drive, according to Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar, will check the spread of Tuberculosis (TB) that might hit Covid patients after recovery.

“There are more than 28 lakh people in the state who have recovered from the infection. Since both Covid-19 and TB infect the lungs, we have launched a special drive to ensure early detection of TB among people who have recovered from Covid,” he said.

The minister also urged those who have recovered from Covid-19 and members of their families to take part in the exercise voluntarily. According to officials, the testing drive has been scheduled to be held till August 31.

Further, Sudhakar admitted TB evaluation drives were “slightly hit” by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, officials confirmed The Indian Express, the state was facing a shortage in the supply of cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification technique (CBNATT) test kits used to test TB amid the pandemic. “The supplies allocated from the Central TB Division to the state have been hit since the late end of 2020 after which we received only 30% of the usual stock we get. While we require nearly 20,000 CBNAAT cartridges on a monthly basis, the same came down to around 6,000 per month then,” a senior official said on condition of anonymity.

The official also explained that the detection was hit as both TB and Covid-19 have similar clinical symptoms. “However, with situations improving now and the testing rate going up, we hope to detect such cases early to enable swift treatment,” the official added.

It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in 2018, had launched a campaign to eradicate TB from India by 2025, five years ahead of a globally-set deadline.

TB detected in 24 people post Covid-19 recovery

Meanwhile, Dr Ramesh Chandra Reddy, state Joint Director for TB said a total of 24 cases were confirmed with TB post-Covid-19 recovery among people in the state. “These include people from Kodagu, Mandya, Mysuru, and Chamarajanagar districts. While they recovered from Covid-19 two months ago, TB was detected in them during the last 15 days,” he explained.

Dr Reddy added that the campaign is expected to have an outreach of nearly 80 lakh people including family members and contacts of those who have recovered from Covid-19 between January and June this year.

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