Karnataka to conduct spot testing in Covid-hit villages

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Bengaluru, May 23 (IANS) With the pandemic foraying into the hinterland during its second wave, Karnataka would conduct spot testing in villages across the state to detect the virus spread, said Revenue Minister R. Ashoka on Sunday.

“Special teams will conduct on the spot and door-to-door testing in villages to detect how many are infected, as positive cases have been rising in semi-urban and rural areas of late,” said Ashoka, who is also the vice-chairman of the state disaster management authority.

State Revenue Secretary Manjunath Prasad has formed the special teams through a notification to conduct on the spot testing in villagers across the state.

“As many people in villages are hesitant to take the test, the special teams will persuade them to come forward for testing, as the transmission chain of the virus has to be broken at the earliest,” asserted the Minister.

In the absence of testing centres in the rural areas, special teams comprising doctors, auxiliary nurses and anganwadi workers will visit every house in the villages to test the rural folk.

“The teams will identify symptomatic patients and conduct rapid antigen test on the spot to detect to what extent they are infected for treatment,” said Ashoka.

In case of a person testing positive, doctors will decide if he or she has to be in home isolation or admitted to a hospital for treatment.

“Primary contacts of a Covid positive patient will also be tested on the spot and medical kits will be given to those who will be home quarantined,” he said.

The state health department will soon launch mobile clinics with doctors and paramedic to visit villages for tracing, tracking, testing and treating Covid-hit.

“Final year medical internship students, BSc (nursing) and Ayush graduates will be recruited for the rural programme,” added Ashoka.