Lauding Kerala's containment strategy for COVID-19 and the robust public healthcare system, the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) on Saturday, May 2, said it would "continue referring to the Kerala model" for testing and containment strategies.
"Kerala is offering one of the best containment strategies and it is unparalleled. So we will continue to refer to the Kerala Model as far as testing and containment strategies are concerned," Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar, chief of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at ICMR said. He was responding to queries from media persons at an online interaction, live-streamed on Facebook by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Kerala.
An initiative of the Kerala Health Department, the interaction aimed at explaining the technical aspects of COVID-19 testing. A high-level team of the state led by Health Minister K K Shailaja, Health Secretary Rajan Khobragade, Dr B Ekbal, who heads the expert panel that advises the government on prevention of the coronavirus and Dr Rathan U Kelkar, National Health Mission State Director, were part of the interaction.
Dr Gangakhedkar India at present does 72,000 per day and is in a position to to ramp up testing up to 1.25 lakh a day.
"We have expanded the criteria of testing as much as we could. After starting from scratch three months back, the last test we have done was 72,000 today. This is a significantly high number. We are in a position to ramp up testing up to 1.25 lakh a day," he said.
Talking about test results coming up as false negatives or positives in certain cases, Dr Ekbal said that these cases were "rare instances" of human error.
"We have conducted as many as over 35,000 tests in Kerala. Only two or three went wrong. That kind of an average exists even in missions that are less pressing," he said.
In addition, any minute variation in the process of swab collection, its transportation, and the manner of reception at the lab also may impact the test, Dr Gangakhedkar said.
Kerala has been at the forefront in the battle against the deadly virus. The state, which had initially reported a high number of cases has now got more recoveries than active cases. Of the 500 confirmed cases in the state, 401 have recovered and 4 have succumbed to the disease.Also Read: 'It's More Safe Here': Italian Tourist In Kerela After Recovery From COVID-19