In the fight against COVID, frontline workers across all major departments stand the risk of contracting the virus first. Closer home in Visakhapatnam, three employees working at the main Virology Lab at KGH tested positive for COVID-19. The entire lab was shut down on Thursday following the results, and twenty employees were sent into quarantine. As per officials, the lab will be reopened within two days after thorough disinfection.
The main lab at KGH has a capacity to conduct 2,000 tests in a day, the pace of which would be slowed down during this week due to the virology lab being shut down. However, the COVID-19 testing will not be halted completely in Vizag as KGH is equipped with another RTPCR machine at the Microbiology Department (NACO) where COVID tests are currently being conducted, stated officials. Meanwhile, the Andhra Medical College (AMC) and Government Hospital for Chest and Communicable Diseases are equipped to conduct TrueNat and Real-Time PCR tests.
Officials have also stated that twelve doctors working at KGH tested positive for COVID-19 till date. Meanwhile, over 100 doctors have been placed in phased quarantine. Previously, Forensic, Orthopaedic and surgery departments were closed and reopened after doctors in the respective departments tested positive for COVID-19.
At present, samples of people from high risk areas and primary contacts of patients are being given priority for testing as per Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s instructions. The CM, in June, directed officials to test every household in the state for COVID-19 within 90 days. He said that comprehensive tests and screenings must be held across the state using 104 ambulances. He further instructed that emphasis must be laid on elders above 60 years and those suffering from co-morbidities as they face a higher risk of the virus. The CM also said urban and rural areas must adopt different testing strategies based on their unique challenges.