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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

PSA to GoI, Rockefeller Foundation release recommendations for equitable, cost-effective Covid testing and tracing

The aim of the report is to offer actionable recommendations to make Covid-19 testing equitable, cost-effective and scalabl

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: May 21, 2021 1:06:05 am
Covid-19 India second waveThe report titled, 'The Road Ahead for Smart Covid-19 Testing and Tracing in India' carries high-level recommendations curated from a panel of eminent experts. (Express Photo by Ashish Kale)

At a time when our health systems are completely overwhelmed, vaccination alone will not stop the pandemic and supplementary tools, such as intensified testing and contact tracing, must be strengthened and strategically deployed, says a new report launched on Thursday morning by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, K VijayRaghavan, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

The report titled, ‘The Road Ahead for Smart Covid-19 Testing and Tracing in India’ carries high-level recommendations curated from a panel of eminent experts, such as Dr Shahid Jameel, Prof N K Ganguly, Dr Sangeeta Reddy, Dr Navin Dang, Dr Swati Piramal, JVR Prasada Rao, Dr Shirshendu Mukherjee and Dr Virander Singh Chauhan. The aim of the report is to offer actionable recommendations to make Covid-19 testing equitable, cost-effective and scalable.

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In order to effectively protect the population from Covid-19, testing and tracing strategies should be further strengthened and contextualized (enabling the availability of a diverse portfolio of tests with clear guidance); undertaking well-designed sero-surveys; setting regulatory pathways and quality checks on new testing technologies; ensuring equitable access to testing; and scaling genome sequencing efforts, the report has stated.

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The Rockefeller Foundation has provided more than $10 million to institutions and programmes in India, including to the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, UNICEF, the Indian Institute of Technology, the Piramal Swasthya Management and Research Institute, PATH, Covid Action Collab, GiveIndia, and it has also approved an additional $3.5 million in emergency aid to organisations responding to the current surge of Covid-19 cases.

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