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Covid-19: Samples pending, testing piling up in North Karnataka

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The Times Of India
29th May, 2020 13:01 IST

BENGALURU: Results confirming an infection were declared a full week after a 69-year-old woman in Yadgir died, a pointer to the massive backlog in testing and of swab samples piling up.

As on Wednesday, Yadgir had a backlog of 6,367 swab samples that needed testing. It was second only to Kalaburagi with 7,873 samples pending, while the scene in Raichur (4,729), Bagalkot (1,533), Belagavi (1,313) and Gadag (740) weren’t very different.

While pendency of testing is high in all these North Karnataka districts, the story is very different in southern parts of state. While Dakshina Kannada had 1,267 samples pending, Mandya (513), Hassan (510) and Shivamogga (315) were down to manageable figures. Data analysed by TOI showed a backlog of 21,000 on Monday, but the number had increased to 24,000 by Wednesday.

Not only are there fewer labs in North Karnataka, but the districts are also seeing an influx of returnees from Maharashtra, resulting in samples from the region being rushed to Bengaluru. Yadgir for instance does not have a lab. The three labs in Bengaluru — National Institute of Virology, Nimhans and Bangalore Medical College and Research Centre — are doing the bulk of testing.

TOI found many returnees who had completed institutional quarantine were yet to receive test reports. Pregnant women are exempted from institutional quarantine but have to be in hotel quarantine till their results are negative. Many have been waiting for results for more than seven days.

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