Karnataka will conduct spot-testing in villages across the state to detect the spread of coronavirus, said Revenue Minister R Ashoka on Sunday in Bengaluru. The decision came after villages also began reporting COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the pandemic. The Minister said that special teams have been formed by the State Revenue secretary Manjunath Prasad to conduct this spot-testing in the villages. "Special teams will conduct on the spot and door-to-door testing in villages to detect how many are infected, as positive cases have been rising in semi-urban and rural areas of late," said Ashoka, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the State Disaster Management Authority.
Due to the absence of testing centres in rural areas, these special teams of doctors, auxiliary nurses and Anganwadi workers will visit every house in the villages to test the rural folk. The minister asserted that the special teams will also have to persuade the villagers to come forth and get tested as there is hesitancy amongst them. He said it was pivotal to break the chain of transmission at the earliest. "The teams will identify symptomatic patients and conduct rapid antigen tests on the spot to detect to what extent they are infected for treatment," said Ashoka.
In case someone tests positive for coronavirus, the doctors will decide if they can isolate at home or need to be admitted to a hospital for treatment. The minister also said that the primary contacts of the person having COVID-19 shall also be tested on the spot and medical kits will be provided to those under home quarantine.
The state health department will soon be launching mobile clinics armed with doctors and paramedic staff to visit villages for tracing, tracking and treating those infected with the coronavirus. The revenue minister also announced that final year medical internship students, Bachelor’s in Science (nursing) and AYUSH graduates will also be roped in for the rural outreach programme.