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Three more testing labs in Bengaluru

Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan
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Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan

Highlights

New testing labs to ease burden on city’s healthcare infrastructure

Bengaluru: The surge in cases has overburdened the city's healthcare capacity, and as a result, there have been many reports of patients not finding facilities. To overcome this, the government has decided to open more testing centres.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C N Ashwath Narayan on Tuesday inaugurated the Covid-19 Testing Centre in Public Health Centre on Magadi Road, West Zone, in the city.

In addition to this facility, three more testing labs will be set up at Sreerampuram, Gangondanahalli and Jagjeevan Ram Nagar hospitals. These primary health centres are a lifeline to the most vulnerable communities in the west zone, mainly living in slums and informal settlements. Most of them work as daily wage labourers, construction workers, street vendors, garment workers and 'pourakarmikas' and domestic workers.

According to reports from the medical department, the testing centre is equipped with a True Nat machine which has been approved for the use of Coronavirus screening. The samples of the throat and the nasal swab collected by the trained technicians are used for testing and results can be obtained in 30-60 minutes. TrueNat is portable, designed primarily to work at remote locations, and considered as 'last mile diagnostics'. In addition to Covid-19, this machine can be used for tuberculosis (TB), Dengue, Chikungunya, Rabies, H1N1, Malaria testing.

"The Public Health Centre's (PHC) is a critical component of our battle against Covid-19. This facility will enhance our capacity to perform testing and deliver quicker results thereby enabling faster isolation and containment. Our whole machinery is working non-stop for the last many months to support families in accessing quality health care at all levels.

I appeal to all of you to stay calm and without fear. This is a global pandemic and the government is fully equipped to handle this crisis. Please follow the guidelines for testing and quarantine as prescribed and co-operate with government authorities," Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said.

The initiative was supported by Azim Premji Foundation. The foundation has been supporting the government's effort to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Azim Premji Foundation is working at various levels - increasing tertiary hospital capacity, especially ICU and oxygenated beds, expanding and setting up Covid-19 testing facilities, apart from support in training, communication and data management, with a wide network of NGO partners across the city on the front lines in supporting over 12 lakh marginalized communities on Covid-19.

Three such partners,CFAR ( Centre for Action and Research), Action Aid and Mercy Mission are working with over 350 dedicated staff and volunteers to build awareness and addressing fear and stigma, persuading communities to get tested as per the government guidelines and facilitating the same thorough testing camps conducted with the help of the PHC, tracking of those at risk, facilitating testing and providing information on and access to quarantine and isolation facilities and post-recovery support through counselling and also access to dry ration kit as per BBMP provision.

"We have been at the forefront in the battle against the pandemic by supporting governments and communities across the country, including Karnataka. We are working in close coordination with the government of Karnataka with a deep engagement on all fronts in Bengaluru city which has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases," said Anurag Behar, CEO, Azim Premji Foundation.

"The government has been working relentlessly to address the various aspects of this pandemic and we are committed in this effort with special focus on the most marginalized who are facing humanitarian and health crises" Anurag Behar added.

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