Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy directs authorites to open testing labs in each district- The New Indian Express

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AMARAVATHI: As the number of coronavirus cases has been escalating at a rapid pace across the state due to transmission from Tablighi Jamaat attendees, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday directed the authorities to open testing labs in each district and also create isolation wards in all hospitals.

Of the total 220 active coronavirus cases in the state as on Sunday, close to 90 per cent relate to the Jamaat participants and their close contacts.

The Chief Minister asked the health authorities to immediately complete testing of all those who returned from the Tablighi Jamaat congregation and their primary contacts.

In the next step, the secondary contacts of the Jamaat attendees should be tested, he said at a high-level review meeting on COVID-19.

Special Chief Secretary (Health) K S Jawahar Reddy informed the Chief Minister that seven labs were working in the state with a capacity to test over 900 blood samples per day.

He said steps were being taken to increase the testing capacity of the labs in Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada.

Jawahar Reddy explained about the special approach undertaken on an experimental basis in Visakhapatnam city, where the identified red zones (having Corona positive patients) were divided into eight clusters and 20 samples were tested on a random basis from each cluster.

Those who returned from abroad and persons in the high- risk age groups (below 10 and above 65 years) were chosen at random and their blood samples were tested.

“All these samples turned negative in the tests,” the Special CS said.

The Chief Minister then asked the Special CS to set up a lab in every district as the number of cases was mounting.

Jagan directed the officials to ensure the lockdown guidelines were scrupulously followed, particularly in the identified red zones and hotspots.

He also asked them to be prepared to implement any fresh guidelines from the Centre after the lockdown period ends on April 14.

Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney, Director General of Police D G Sawang, Principal Secretary Praveen Prakash and other senior officials attended.

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