Odisha: Covid antigen tests to start at Ganjam, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack today

Subrat Kumar Sarangi

Bhubaneswar (NVI): With a surge in Covid-19 cases at hospitals and hotspot districts in Odisha, the State Government has planned to conduct rapid antigen tests at all containment zones and points of care at district level.

The district authorities in Ganjam are also set to roll out rapid antigen tests from today, as coronavirus cases in the district continue to increase day by day.

The authorities will also start door-to-door screening for urban areas, as teams have been formed with 200 members to carry out massive screening. Screening areas will be put to shutdown for 3-4 days as per requirement.

The state government has planned to procure about one lakh Standard Q Covid-19 Ag (antigen) detection kits out of which 5,000 kits have already arrived here and the other 20,000 kits are expected to reach in the next few days with the cost of each kit at Rs 450.

These kits have been developed by South Korean Company, S D Biosensor whose manufacturing unit is at Manesar, Gurugram.

Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary to Health and Family Welfare department said that out of 5,000 antigen kits, 2,500 have been sent to Ganjam. 2,000 kits have been sent to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack. The rest 500 kits have been kept for Bhubaneswar.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has advised all the states to go for the kits from the manufacturer. They said these kits come with an inbuilt testing device for sample collection.

Antigen tests are a useful tool for early diagnose of coronavirus infection and results of the tests will be known within 15-30 minutes, ICMR said.

-RJV/ARK