Mumbai, April 3
The Central Government has allowed Maharashtra to conduct rapid, mass-scale “Covid 19” test by using blood samples to expedite the detection of coronavirus cases, Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
The State government will use blood samples instead of swabs in rapid tests through which it can be ascertained “in five minutes” whether the person has developed anti-bodies for the disease or not.
“The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has informed us that the State can now carry out rapid tests for early detection of coronavirus cases. We will be using blood samples for the early detection of Covid 19 infection,” Tope said and added that mass-scale testing will expedite the screening procedure. Within five minutes of collection of blood sample, the government will come to know whether the person has developed some anti-bodies (which indicates presence of virus). Earlier the Centre had not allowed mass-scale tests.
“Our health department has prepared online training module for ASHA (accredited social health activist) workers as well as multi-purpose workers registered with the State who will be trained for treating Covid 19 patients,” Tope said.
“There are over 3.25 lakh migrant labourers in various state-run facilities. Modi has asked us to not only take care of their food, but also provide them TV sets so that they can have some entertainment and do not leave the shelter. The PM has also advised the State government to sanitize containment areas strictly. Containment zones are created around the localities where significant number of infections are found. There are 146 such areas where sanitisation will start soon, Tope said.
About Tablighi Jamaat congregation, Tope said that Maharashtra has traced out 1,300 persons, out of around 1,400 persons who attended the recent congregation in Delhi, Tope said.
In another development Maharashtra Government has decided to convert 30 district hospitals as special hospitals to treat “Covid 19” patients. With this the capacity will be increased by 2305 beds. Some of the hospitals include: Thane district hospital, TB Building (100 beds), Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Hospital, Mira Bhayander (100), Vashi General Hospital (120), Shastri Nagar dispensary, Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (100), Pune district Hospital, Aundh (50), Kumbhmela building, Nashik (100), municipal Kathada Hospital, Nashik (100) and Ahmednagar district hospital (100).
In another development Indian Medical Association (IMA) has asked general practitioners (GP) to keep their dispensaries open at least for three hours in a day so that routine patients wanting medicare, are not inconvenienced. However GPs above 65 years and those suffering from diabetes have been exempted from this. The IMA has issued these guidelines in view of the government’s direction to suspend licences of doctors keeping their dispensaries closed fearing coronavirus.
In the meanwhile the number of active Covid 19 cases have climbed up to 423, with 21 deaths in Maharashtra, while 42 fully recovered patients have been discharged till now.