By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 25, 2020: Odisha on Thursday slashed the rates of tests for Covid-19 at private laboratories from Rs 4,500 to Rs 2,200, according to health secretary Pradipta Mohapatra.

The decision comes just a day before the Congress and 13 other parties are scheduled to stage a demonstration in Bhubaneswar over declining Covid tests in the state.

Henceforth, four government-authorised private laboratories in the state will charge Rs 2,200 instead of the present cost of Rs 4,500 for Covid-19 tests. The labs are at KIMS, SUM, Apollo Hospital and KIIT-TBI in Bhubaneswar.

Covid-19 tests in government labs, most of which are attached with hospitals are free.

The COVID-19 tally in Odisha went up to 5962 on Thursday with 210 new cases being reported from 18 districts in the last 24 hours. With 15 deaths and 4123 recoveries, Odisha now has 1815 active cases.

“We expect the number of tests to go up after reduction in the price. People who can afford the cost can now visit any of these labs and get tested,” said Mohapatra.

State Congress president, Niranjan Patnaik alleged that all migrants returning to the state are not being tested before they are sent to their homes. “In April, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had announced that 15,000 samples will be tested every day but the number of tests being done does not cross 4,000 per day,” Patnaik remarked.

Health and family welfare department officials said a serological survey to gauge the spread of infection will begin in Puri on Saturday with people undergoing rapid antibody tests. The rapid antibody test will be conducted in Ganjam, Gajapati districts, Bhubaneswar and Badamba-Narsinghpur area in Cuttack district from the first week of July. At least 50,000 test kits are being brought for the serological survey.

On Thursday, the Odisha government also framed a new set of guidelines for infection prevention and control in private hospitals and nursing homes following a spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases among hospital workers.

Incidentally, 33 healthcare workers in three hospitals of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack have tested positive for Covid-19 since Monday. Private hospitals in the state will bear the cost of the treatment of their workers if they get infected in course of duty.

“The promoter and/or the management of private hospitals also owe responsibility for implementation of the infection prevention and control measures,” Mohapatra said.

All private hospitals have to ensure completion of training of its staff within seven days and submit a certificate to the authorities concerned.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has already issued notice to nine private hospitals in the city for flouting the protocols. Blue Wheel Hospital in Bhubaneswar, where 27 patients and staff tested positive for Covid-19, was sealed on Wednesday.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of