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Focus on testing, elderly takes Rajasthan to the top of Covid-19 recovery chart

As on Friday morning, Rajasthan's recovery rate stood at 79.24 per cent, while that of India was 58.25 per cent.

Written by Hamza Khan | Jaipur | Updated: June 27, 2020 7:35:08 am
covid testing, rajasthan, covid-19 swab test sample A health worker collects a sample in Bikaner. (PTI/File)

A two-pronged strategy of aggressive testing and screening the elderly as part of a special campaign has seen Rajasthan report the highest recovery rate for Covid-19 patients among the top 10 states with most cases in India.

As on Friday morning, Rajasthan’s recovery rate stood at 79.24 per cent, while that of India was 58.25 per cent. Madhya Pradesh followed close behind with a recovery rate of 76.37 per cent, ahead of Gujarat (72.83 per cent), as per Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data.

According to health officials in Rajasthan, aggressive testing was a key factor in the success. “Aggressive testing leads us to detect cases early. And when you detect early, you can take them to an institution or isolate them at home quickly. So that’s the key. And if you detect late, then the infection is already affecting your vital body parts and recovery might be difficult,” Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Rohit Kumar Singh said. Of the 16,387 cases in the state, 12,935 have recovered.

Read| Coronavirus: In Rajasthan drive, 75,000 health workers cover 23 lakh homes

Another critical measure was the launch of Mission LISA (life saver) as early as in April. Since most deaths were among the elderly and the high-risk groups, the government launched a campaign to survey such people in the hotspots, conduct check-ups, and take their samples for testing, where needed.

“It was launched it in all containment zones, where we categorised people. The high-risk people were identified and chosen for testing,” Singh said.

The government also employed the data from records available under government services such as the Ayushman Bharat Mahatma Gandhi Rajasthan Swasthya Bima Yojana. The data under health services helped officials zero in on those “who have been to hospital in the last four years for respiratory and other co-morbid conditions. So you identify them and give them extra attention,” Singh said.

Under Mission LISA, as of Friday, 932 teams had covered hotspots while 5,588 teams had covered other areas in the 12 worst affected districts. Together, they have now surveyed 2.05 crore people. Of these, 21.10 lakh high risk persons were “made aware” about the increased risk they faced from the disease.

A total of 3.06 lakh high risk persons were checked by doctors for vitals, such as oxygen etc.—in hotspots, outside hotspots, and in OPDs, under the mission.

Read| Explained: The ‘Bhilwara model’ of ‘ruthless containment’ to stop coronavirus

A total 40,520 samples of high-risk persons have been taken for testing as part of the mission. Importantly, 37,777 or 93.23 per cent, of these samples came from hotspots, thus marking a crucial intervention in saving the elderly and those at high risk, ultimately leading to a higher recovery rate compared to other states.

Praising the department for “the best recovery rate”, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma on Friday, however, said the rising numbers of cases were “a cause for worry.” Cases were rising in the state due to the “carelessness” of some, and because of returning migrants, he said. Approximately 10,000 people have arrived in the state from the Gulf countries and the former Soviet states.

On June 23, active cases had crossed the 3,000 mark for the first time. On Friday, this number stood at 3,072.

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