District collectors have been asked to rope in both state-owned and private labs to carry out these tests.

A person being tested with rapid testing kit in DelhiImage For Representation
news Coronavirus Thursday, November 05, 2020 - 10:15

To keep a check on the spread of COVID-19 among low-income families in Kerala, district administrations have been directed to identify and carry out rapid antigen tests among families belonging to the below poverty line (BPL) category. It has also been decided to carry out rapid antigen tests on front line workers in the state on a routine basis. The decision comes from the Disaster Management Department based on recommendations from the crisis management group./p>

District collectors in Kerala have been directed to make arrangements to carry out 100 rapid tests per day from districts. The tests will be aimed at groups considered vulnerable, persons above the age of 60 years, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and malnourished children within the BPL category.

These groups will be screened for influenza-like illnesses. Rapid antigen tests have been made free for those from the BPL category, reported Times of India. If a delay is faced while carrying out the tests, then samples of the persons will be sent to state-approved antigen labs, including private labs to carry out the tests. The funds for the tests are to be provided by district collectors.

All healthcare workers, ASHA workers, revenue, civil supplies, police and volunteers in the frontlines of containing the pandemic have also been asked to undergo rapid antigen tests at the district level. The tests are to be carried on these personnel on a routine basis by the district administration which has been directed to maintain a separate database of tests carried out among BPL families and frontline workers. These reports are to be submitted on a daily basis to both the Health and the Disaster Management Departments.

Kerala on Wednesday reported 8,516 more COVID-19 cases out of the 71,270 samples that were tested in 24 hours. The state's recoveries total 3,72,951 so far. The active cases total COVID-19 cases in the state stand at 84,995, whereas 28 more COVID-19 deaths were recordede. Kerala's death toll is now 1,587, said Health Minister K Shailaja

Across the state, 3,02,063 persons are now under observation, including 20,963 in hospitals.

(With IANS Inputs)

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