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Tirupati: Server problems continue to haunt Covid testing

People, including children wait in queue to give swab for  test at Sanjeevini bus at Alipiri link bus stand in Tirupati on Tuesday
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People, including children wait in queue to give swab for test at Sanjeevini bus at Alipiri link bus stand in Tirupati on Tuesday

Highlights

  • For over a week no swab collection is done in Tirupati
  • Results of thousands of tested samples are not uploaded
  • Officials are finding it hard to get data entry operators and other staff, leading to piling up of test samples

Tirupati: Technical glitches have been still haunting Covid-19 testing with the swab collection coming to a halt over a week ago in the temple town. Officials claim that it is not confined to the Chittoor district alone as the problem lies with the state server.

Causing more worry, several thousands of test reports were ready for uploading into the server. Unless they are uploaded, people can't get confirmatory messages of either positive or negative. As the results are not coming out, people have been moving about casually and mingling with others in a normal way. Now, there is a panic among people as they have to suspect everyone they face.

Though the swab collection has been stopped at both SVIMS and Ruia hospitals, it went on at the Sanjeevani vehicle near Alipiri on Tuesday where only a few samples were collected. When asked, a doctor concerned said that the institutional server has problems whereas that mobile swab collection units' server is different.

The old maternity hospital where the swab collection was being done in Ruia hospital has been wearing a deserted look for the past few days with no activity. At Alipiri, huge crowds were seen waiting to give swabs at the bus. The people have become restless and angry over the continuous server problems. Even the only private testing centre has stopped collecting swabs.

There was criticism that the swab collection was stopped deliberately to reduce heavy load on the testing labs where the pendency of samples has been going up and clear all the samples. In Tirupati alone, there were more than 10,000 samples pending at one stage due to which huge delay was witnessed in getting results. Still, around 5,000 samples are said to be pending for testing.

It has become a Herculean task for the district officials to sort out this problem as the testing centres have been facing severe shortage of data entry operators and other staff. Their efforts to recruit more people have become futile and even after working in three shifts, the pending work is not easing as the cases have been on rise for the past one month. As the swab collection, testing process, server problems and lack of data entry operators are inter connected, the problem may only aggravate with every passing day.

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