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Odisha not in community transmission stage of COVID-19: ILS Director

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is not in community transmission stage of Covid-19 outbreak as of now and in order to help the state combat the disease in a more efficient way, rapid antibody test will once again resume in the state soon, Director of Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), Bhubaneswar, Ajay Parida informed on Wednesday.

“If we go through the health department data, 90 to 95 per cent positive cases are being reported from temporary medical camps and containment areas. The rate of positivity of local contacts is very low. As per the data, we cannot say that there is community transmission of SARS-nCoV in Odisha,” Parida said.

“For example, about 1100 samples were tested in view of Rath Yatra of which one sample came out positive. It indicates that there is no community transmission in the state as of now,” he said.

Parida said the antibody test of COVID-19 will be resumed in the state after a detailed plan of action is finalised tomorrow. By next week, test kits approved by ICMR will reach so that they can be used during the door-to-door survey being conducted now.

“The RT-PCR test is the most reliable test but it is time consuming and can be conducted only in specialised laboratories. For antibody tests, a huge consignment of kits for the test will come to Odisha by next week,” he said.

Speaking about the recent guidelines of ICMR in which the medical research body has stressed on three aspects such as test, track and treat for Covid fight back, Parida said it is a welcome step.

“All the testing laboratories will have a meeting with the Odisha government on Thursday where the guidelines will be thoroughly discussed. As per the discussion, I am sure the state government will develop strategies to ramp up the testing in the future,” he said.

Once the indigenously developed ICMR approved kits reach, the testing capacity will increase in the state. Tests will be conducted at local level and after the test, those who need RT-PCR will be referred to the specialised labs, he added.

In a related development, Niranjan Mishra who took over as the new director of public health in the state, said, the Odisha government is taking steps as per the ICMR guidelines.

ASHA and anganwadi workers are conducting door-to-door screening. If more tests are conducted, more positive cases come to the fore and the spread of the cases can be checked by declaring the concerned areas as containment zone, he said.


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