JEYPORE: Even as COVID-19 situation in the district is showing no signs of slowing down, the administration has more than halved the number of tests per day.
The district administration used to collect over 1,800 samples a day and had also decided to raise the limit up to 3,500. But since the start of September, it has limited the tests to less that 1,000 per day. Health teams are collecting only around 800 swabs per day across 14 blocks and four civic body areas.
While the move to reduce tests in the face of surging cases, which have crossed 4,044, has raised questions, the administration stated that it was acting on the orders of the State Government.
The State Government has directed the district to limit tests and supply of antigen kits have also been cut short, sources said.
Chief district medical officer Makarananda Behura said, “We are doing the tests as per Government instructions from time to time, which may include either enhancement or reduction of testing in the district.”
Along with low testing, contact tracing activities have also gone for a toss in the district. There is no effort to trace contacts of positive persons nor any monitoring of even the close contacts of patients.
Residents stated that earlier, health teams used to keep a tab on close family contacts of infected persons in containment zones apart from giving them advisory and preventive medicines. But this has stopped.
“I had to take my pregnant daughter-in-law to the COVID hospital to get her tested, after three days of my son’s detection. None of the authorities responded on time,” rued a Jeypore resident who said that he was forced to breach the containment as there was no other way out
According to reports, COIVD-19 cases crossed 1,000 mark in Jeypore town which has become a hotspot.
Jeypore sub-collector Hema Kanta Say said that all symptomatic cases and contacts of COVID positive patients are being tested.
The health team has also been providing a medicine kit to those infected. “Doctors are advising family members of patients to take necessary medication,” he stated.