Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], April 23 (ANI): Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national president and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Thursday expressed concern over the pending status of over 16,000 samples taken to ascertain the infection of the coronavirus.
According to a press release from the TDP, Naidu has written to state Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, asking for partnership with private labs in order to increase testing facilities to strengthen the fight against COVID-19.
“The spread of COVID-19 appears to be continuing unhindered in Andhra Pradesh. It is germane to identify the number of COVID positive cases by increasing the number of tests. Simultaneously, it should be ensured that confirmation test results are out at the earliest to determine COVID spread,” the press release quotes Naidu further saying in the letter.
Naidu said that currently, while the Government of Andhra Pradesh is conducting COVID screening tests, it seems that around 16,000 confirmation test results are awaited. One of the major reasons for less number of confirmation tests and delayed test results is the lack of COVID confirmation testing laboratories in the State. Currently, there are only eight confirmation testing laboratories in the State, causing an inadvertent delay in espousing confirmed test results.
Stating that the previous government procured 250 TrueNAT test kits for effective control of tuberculosis (TB) in the state, Naidu said that TrueNAT tests help in detecting 100 per cent COVID negative and, in case of COVID positive results, they may be sent for RT-PCR confirmatory tests. Accordingly, the government should use TrueNAT kits in larger numbers.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also approved TrueNAT for the screening stage. Naidu said the ICMR has categorically referred to RT-PCR test as the only confirmation test.
In the letter, Naidu has also expressed concern over the non-supply of quality and standardised personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and sanitisers to the COVID-19 frontline warriors like doctors, nurses, medical and para-medical staff, police, sanitary workers, revenue officials and others.
“It is high time that the government finalises norms for the standardisation of PPE kits and sanitisers and immediately provide the same to frontline warriors,” added former Chief Minister Naidu. (ANI)