The district has a backlog of over 1,900 tests for which results have to be declared

With the number of positive cases increasing every day in Virudhunagar district, the need to step up COVID-19 testing has become inevitable.

However, the RT-PCR testing equipment at in Virudhunagar Government Medical College Hospital can only test only a maximum of 280 samples a day.

Before Virudhunagar got this facility, the district was sending samples to Theni, Madurai and Tirunelveli medical college hospitals for testing. “Now, all these hospitals are doing more tests from their own districts and cannot take up the swab samples from our district,” said Virudhunagar Collector, R. Kannan.

The district recorded more than 25 patients for four consecutive days until Friday. However, no positive case was recorded on Saturday.

Still, the district administration will explore the possibility of sending samples to other districts wherever it was possible, Mr. Kannan said.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) district secretary, K. Arjunan, said that many people were forced to wait for the result of swab tests for five to six days. “This is causing anxiety among them,” he said.

Virudhunagar district has a backlog of over 1,900 tests, for which results have to be declared. This is after the district started taking swab tests for around 600 people each day in the last few days.

“One more RT-PCR equipment will help us in a big way. But the equipment is not immediately available in the market. Efforts are on to procure the equipment at the earliest,” Mr. Kannan said.

Meanwhile, the Collector said that the district was ready with 760 beds to treat COVID-19 patients. He said that at present, patients were admitted in Virudhunagar, Sivakasi, Aruppukottai and Rajapalayam government hospitals.

“Beds in Sattur government hospital are also available. The number of active COVID-19 cases is only around 150, but we are gearing up to provide as many beds as possible,” he said.

Besides, 4,300 beds are ready in various hostels which could be converted into COVID-19 care centres. All asymptomatic patients could be admitted to the COVID-19 care centres, the Collector said adding that doctors and paramedical staff are adequately available.

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