Testing rate of COVID in C’garh still to match WHO standards
   Date :01-Aug-2020
The average rate of sample testing among 1 million (10 lakh) people for COVID-19 has risen to 45% in last three weeks across Chhattisgarh, but still State fails to match the standard of World Health Organisation (WHO) in testing rate. Along with West Bengal and Gujarat, Chhattisgarh is one of the nine states which is still unsuccessful to do over 140 COVID-19 tests per million people per day. Even small states like Mizoram, Sikkim, Goa, Nagaland, Tripura and union territories Pondicherry and Ladakh succeeded to match the standard of WHO in testing of COVID.
Currently 22 states and union territories are testing over 140 people among 10 lakh or 1 million population everyday as per standard of testing by World Health Organisation (WHO). The report of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed that till July 25, nation was conducting about 201 tests per day per million population. But in contrast, Chhattisgarh was conducting 108 tests of COVID-19 per million population per day till July 25.
Of all states, Goa’s testing rate is the highest 1,058 tests per million population per day followed by Delhi 978 tests per million population per day and Tripura-642 tests per million population per day. Even union territories such as Pondicherry’s test 511 per million population per day and Ladakh-353 tests per million population per day. Even with limited health resources as well as facilities Himachal Pradesh testing rate is 161 tests per million population per day and Nagaland-154 tests of COVID-19 per million population per day.
“We have told all states that WHO guidelines as well as standards emphasise the need for comprehensive testing of suspected cases of coronavirus. They say if any state is testing 140 people per day per 10 lakh people, that is comprehensive. But still some states especially Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Gujarat are not doing testing at that rate. That is why our advice to states to pull up testing to WHO prescribed levels” said an officer of ICMR.
The mortality rate of Chhattisgarh from corona virus is still very low as compared to neighbouring states, but it is also fact that, in last one month, state saw a jump of over 70% in COVID-19 cases. So, it is necessary and need of the hour to rise the testing or at least it should match with standard of WHO. In this regard, Dr Akhilesh Tripathi, Deputy Director of Chhattisgarh Health Department of Health and Family Welfare and in-charge of COVID-19 in state said that from 75 tests per million people per day in last week of June to reach 108 tests per million people per day for COVID is really a notable jump. With limited health resources and other facilities, we are increasing testing rate and confident to match the standard of WHO before or by second week of August, he added. Niharika Barik Singh, Principal Secretary of Chhattisgarh Department of Health and Family Welfare, said that health department has bought many testing kits and it will match the standard of WHO very soon.

Disclose identity of COVI 
                                   N K Banchhor                      S P Dey                               Pradeep Pillai
Disclose identity of COVID-19 positive patients to check spread
TO check the spread of the highly contagious corona virus infection the administration should better disclose the identity of COVID-19 positive patients so that those who had come in primary contact with the person can be alerted and they could go in for quarantine or self isolation and also for the testing. Mounting cases of COVID-19 tally in spite of several measures taken by the administration is a matter of concern. The campaign by government and health department regarding precautionary measures along with ground work is now reflecting in wide compliance of directives by people to check the spread of its community transmission.
Measures including contact tracing and creating containment zones etc are valid means to check its spread but in positive cases people could not recall all person they met during last fourteen days prior to they were tested positive for the pandemic. Hence the disclosure would help people to take precautionary measures at their level. With this they may also opt for seeking necessary test and sparing their near and dear ones of getting infected. The people also supported the view that officials disclosure of identity will add to measures to check spread of the pandemic.
N K Banchhor, president, Officers’ Association, Bhilai Steel Plant opined that official disclosure of the identity might help considerably in checking the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. He opined that such information would make all people aware about the persons contracted the highly contagious disease and the precautionary measures they have to take on their own level. They would also voluntarily go for necessary checkups.
S P Dey, General Secretary, Hindustan Steel Employees Union (CITU) observed that in this civilized society social discrimination could hardly be seen with revealing identity in COVID positive cases. The disclosure of identity of the patient will also contribute in checking the spread.
In this regard Pradeep Pillai, social worker from Bhilai observed that the spread of coronavirus infection has considerably been checked with concrete efforts at government level, creating containment zone, extensive contact tracing and campaign regarding precautionary measures at all level etc. However he insisted upon periodical analysis and necessary reconsideration of strategy.
Dr Tushar Verma, District Manger Urban Health, Durg informed that official disclosure of identity of COVID positive cases might lead to tagging by people and social discrimination. Whereas possibilities of people, have already contracted the disease and further spread is well being taken care of with contact tracing. The health department and administration opt for withholding the identity of such person to spare them of possibility of prolonged humiliation in human society. He also added that in many cases reported from posh colonies in Bhilai people requested them to not to disclose the identity.
When queried whether the person tested positive could recall all persons he met during last ten to fourteen days, Dr Verma replied that the measures are being initiated at health department level in accordance of government and ICMR directives.