Kolkata civic body to ramp-up Rapid Antigen testing from September, cover every ward – Times Now

Kolkata News

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Key Highlights

  • Kolkata Municipal Corporation to push rapid antigen testing from September, cover all wards.
  • KMC aims to conduct at least 50 to 60 rapid antigen testing everyday at every ward.
  • West Bengal per day sample testing has crossed 32,000 mark on Monday.

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), the civic body for the metropolitan area of Kolkata, the state capital has decided to ramp-up rapid antigen testing from September. While rapid antigen testing has already been commissioned, it hadn’t picked up steam due to logistical challenges like proper infrastructure and manpower to conduct the testing.

But KMC has now decided that from September onwards, rapid antigen testing will be conducted at each of the144 wards under the civic body. So far, only 16 boroughs in the city have centres where the rapid antigen is being practised on rotation but the aim is to conduct minimum 50 to 60 rapid antigen tests every day at every ward from September.

The state government is dependent mostly on RT PCR testing for COVID-19 even though rapid antigen has starred since August and per day overall sample testing has surpassed the 30,000-mark since last week. But clubbed with rapid antigen, sample testing can further shoot up.

Kolkata has recorded the maximum number of cases on an everyday basis across the state of West Bengal followed by the neighbouring urban cluster of North 24 Paraganas district. KMC aims to increase sample testing in its metropolitan area alone to 8 thousand by the end of September.

The logistical challenges are now being looked into including health centres at every ward which have basic space to maintain physical distancing while handling COVID patients. KMC is also contemplating to use community centres in neighbourhoods if health centres aren’t doable. Most of these health centres do not have the facility of air conditioning which is a requirement for the convenience of people who conduct sample testing in PPE gear.

From September, even though the aim is to have an independent centre for respective ward to carry out rapid antigen tests, but at places, if creating one becomes difficult then such wards will be clubbed with the nearest available centre of a different ward but ensure coverage of rapid antigen testing.

Presently rapid antigen tests are conducted on super spreaders across the city. Super spreaders are those who are expected to come in contact with more people on an everyday basis due to their profession, for e.g – an auto driver, domestic help or taxi driver. KMC plans to cover the most vulnerable sections of every ward and expand testing to every lane and corner within the metropolitan.

West Bengal has recorded 3080 fresh cases of infection on Monday, out of which Kolkata has recorded 548 cases. The case fatality rate in Kolkata is high but the state maintains that is due to the cosmopolitan set up where several people from outside too, come to the city for medical help. Kolkata has recorded 23 deaths on Monday.

Source: https://www.timesnownews.com/kolkata/article/kolkata-civic-body-to-ramp-up-rapid-antigen-testing-from-september-cover-every-ward/638728