- The Prime Minister has been no less than vociferous in extolling the virtues of the test, trace, treat covid appropriate behavior, and vaccination as the most effective measure to counter the virulence of the second covid wave which is ravaging the country unabated. As the confirmed infection rates cross unbelievable numbers, it has touched more than four lakhs, the efforts to further strengthen the above measure should have acquired significant importance. Alas, everything appears to be running in contrary here going by the statement forthcoming from the agency tasked to carry out covid related matters. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has hit upon a controversial idea to test only the symptomatic cases in Bengaluru.
PC: PIEN HUANG
- Yes, you read it right as the BBMP has decided to test only those who show Covid-like symptoms and their primary contacts from now on. The reason for the ostensible move is to ease the overburdened path labs in Bengaluru struggling to carry out testing of the samples that are running into lakhs owing to worried and scared people flocking to get themselves tested for the dreaded virus. The BBMP says the publication and uploading of test results are getting inordinately delayed because of the overload at laboratories. The officials say the move is aimed at improving the efficiency of the laboratories as the positivity rate in Bengaluru crossed the 20% mark indicating that around 20 people out of every 100 tested in the city are infected. Dreaded figures, indeed.
- The move does go against the tenet of the prescribed standard operating protocols vis-à-vis testing of infected and their primary/secondary contacts as also severely jeopardizing the efforts of the authorities in identifying the infected people at an early stage itself. As we are all aware, the majority of the people turning positive are asymptomatic without any usual symptoms associated with the infection, leaving out such potential cases in thousands – if not lakhs, would seriously impede the efforts to contain the virus from spreading far and wide. How often have we not heard about prevention being better than cure and this alone should be the guiding light to steer the government agency to aggressively tackle the crisis staring at us?
PC: RACHEL WEST
- Most appallingly, it is understood that the sample collection in the city too has been reduced drastically from the high of 1.07 lakh per day on 20th April to a mere 62,004 as of 30th April 2021. This again makes no sense whatsoever raising serious questions about the strategy pursued to reign in the menace. Whereas, carrying out a large number of testing would have decisively helped in preempting the infection from spreading further, plans to restrict as well as reduce the number of testing defies logic. Make no mistake, the prudent step in our fight against containing the virus from spiraling out of control is to increase testing manifolds including as many people as possible even though they may be asymptomatic. The BBMP should change its strategy at once.