AP govt imports 1 lakh COVID-19 testing kits from South Korea

The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday imported one lakh rapid test kits (RTKs) from South Korea to step up Covid-19 testing in the state.

The AP government chartered a special flight to import the RTKs from Seoul directly to Vijayawada airport.

The kits, manufactured by SD Biosensor of South Korea, were presented to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at a high-level review meeting on Covid-19 at his camp office on Friday.

With the use of RTKs, the result could be obtained in just 10 minutes on whether or not a person carried the virus.

The state government placed an order for a total of one million RTKs and the first batch of one lakh kits was delivered on Friday.

The kits will be dispatched to all 13 districts in the next three days and doctors and other medical staff will be trained in their usage before they are put to actual use in a week.

With the arrival of one lakh RTKs, the government now seeks to ramp up testing of Corona cases to 17,000 per day by next week, Special Chief Secretary (Health) K S Jawahar Reddy said.

“We started with 90 tests per day on February 15, with just one lab in the state. Now, with seven VRDL facilities, the testing capacity has gone up to 3,000 per day.

With RTKs and TruNat machines, the testing capacity will increase to 17,000 a day in a week,” Reddy told reporters.

The Medical and Health Department is also going in for pooled sample testing, wherein one sample could determine the condition of five people.

“The ICMR has suggested this method where 100 tests will give the result of 500 people. We are initially doing the pooled sample testing in Vijayawada city,” the Special CS said.

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As part of community surveillance measures, (blood) sample collection, tracking and results would all be monitored online through a new MIS module.

In the door-to-door ‘Syndromic Survey’ conducted by Asha workers and ANMs recently, over 32,000 people were found to have symptoms for Covid-19.

“In the next seven days, we will complete testing of all these 32,700 people,” Jawahar Reddy said.

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