COVID-19: Karnataka to increase RT PCR testing instead of Rapid Antigen tests
Bengaluru: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's nudge to bring down the Covid death rate in the state, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurpppa on Thursday directed the deputy commissioners and other officials concerned to increase RT-PCR testing instead of carrying out Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).
Speaking to IANS, a senior official said on condition of anonymity that the RT-PCR testing procedure is more accurate compared to RAT, and hence the district officials will adopt the RT-PCR testing procedure.
Yediyurappa, who on Thursday took stock of 10 hotspot districts including Uttara Kannada, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Shivamogga, Hassana, Mysuru, Ballari, ADharwad and Tumakuru via a video conference with the district officials, informally decided to increase RT-PCR testing.
According to CMO officials, Yediyurappa instructed the officials to focus on RT-PCR tests and carry out RAT tests only in emergency situations.
Later, a release from the CMO also stated that RAT tests will continue to be used only in emergency cases.
Karnataka so far has conducted 55.24 lakh tests, of which 20.5 lakh were RAT tests and 34.71 lakh RT-PCR tests.
As per the data shared by the Karnataka government, RAT tests are increasingly being conducted almost in proportion to RT-PCR tests.
At the meeting it was discussed that as much as 50 per cent of the deaths due to Covid-19 have happened in the first 72 hours of the patient being identified as positive and admitted to hospital.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Yediyurappa asserted that the primary concern of the government is to bring down the fatality rate to less than 1 per cent of the total cases and this is being approached with early detection of cases.
"Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked us to take stock of the rising number of Covid-19 cases and curb the death rate. Today, I have taken stock of the 10 districts where cases are on the rise and directed the officials to take preventive action," the Chief Minister said.