With the highest single-day jump of 1,087 COVID-19 cases on Sunday, Telangana's total tally crossed 13,000, overtaking Madhya Pradesh and Haryana.
With 13,436 cases, Telangana has now climbed to the eighth position in the list of states with most cases. Out of this, 8,265 are presently undergoing treatment. Including the 162 patients who were discharged on Saturday, the total tally of recoveries is 4,928. Saturday also saw six fatalities, pushing the death toll to 243.
This is the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 that the single-day jump crossed the 1,000 mark in Telangana. The state, which reported 985 cases on Friday, has been witnessing a massive surge for the last few days, reaching a new high every day.
According to the director of public health and family welfare, 3,923 samples were tested during a 24-hour period ending on Saturday. On Friday, 4,374 samples were tested. The cumulative number of tests rose to 79,231.
Of the fresh cases, 888 were reported in Greater Hyderabad, the biggest hotspot. Ranga Reddy and Medchal districts bordering Greater Hyderabad reported 74 and 37 cases. Indicating the spread in other parts of the state as well, Nalgonda reported 35 new cases and Sangareddy district saw 11 cases.
Meanwhile, the Health Department has blamed private laboratories conducting COVID-19 tests for a big jump in positive cases and threatened to suspend their operations if they failed to rectify the gaps in 48 hours.
The expert committee constituted by it observed that certain labs are not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
"There have been discrepancies in data pertaining to the number of tests conducted, positives reported and portal updation. The quality of testing has also been compromised. Certain labs are reporting close to 70 per cent positivity rate which clearly denotes huge errors in the testing methodology," the department said.
The expert committee has examined and scrutinised all parameters in the labs concerned in a very elaborate and robust manner. The laboratories have been directed to rectify all gaps within a period of 48 hours failing which their operations shall be suspended.
Health Minister Eatala Rajender said a door-to-door survey would be undertaken to identify those with COVID-19 symptoms.
The minister, who reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting, said with the change of season, many people were suffering from cold, fever and cough and since these are the symptoms of COVID-19, people were scared.
Rajender discussed with officials the measures required to be taken to check the spread in Greater Hyderabad. He said those with coronavirus symptoms should undergo the test in identified government hospitals.