The health authorities in Telangana on Thursday decided to pause the ongoing mass testing for COVID-19 in Hyderabad and surrounding districts in view of the piling-up of samples in testing laboratories.
With 8,235 samples still pending in the labs for testing, the authorities said collection of more samples without testing the pending ones will create problems.
Director, Public Health and Family Welfare, G Srinivasa Rao said that collection of samples by conducting special camps has been stopped for two days so that the testing of pending samples is completed and labs and collections centres are sanitised.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had announced on June 14 that 50,000 COVID-19 tests will be done in 30 Assembly constituencies in and around the jurisdiction of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and some neighbouring districts.
Till June 16, the health authorities collected 36,000 samples.
The official said in a statement that each sample has to be tested within 48 hours and till then, it has to be preserved in controlled temperature. "If there is delay in testing the samples, it may show false positive results," he said.
The director said collection of samples through special camps was paused but tests in hospitals would continue uninterrupted. Those with suspected symptoms of COVID-19 can get themselves tested in hospitals.
He said people should not have any fears as the process of testing for those in need would continue.
The mass testing in the hotspot had led to a big surge in positive cases during the last one week. The total number of cases in Telangana mounted to 11,364 on Thursday, even as five more people succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 230.
Out of this, 4,688 people have been discharged so far, while 6,446 are under treatment.
Out of 920 cases on Thursday, the highest single-day jump, 737 cases were reported from Greater Hyderabad, the worst affected district. Rangareddy and Medchal districts bordering Hyderabad registered 146 cases. The remaining cases were reported from 15 other districts.
The state has so far conducted 70,934 tests, still among the lowest in the country.
With IANS inputs