Bengaluru started slow on administering antigen tests in the city on July 12 after only three antigen tests were conducted. Out of the three, one patient was tested positive.
The mass testing was due to start on July 11, according to Medical Education Minister Dr. K Sudhakar who said they would begin by testing 20,000 people, says a report by Deccan Herald.
"We have distributed one lakh tests all over the state including 50,000 in Bengaluru. It will take time to collate test results," he added.
The three tests conducted have been carried out in Taverekere. Other clinics in the city have to register themselves on the Indian Council for Medical Research's portal in order to conduct the tests and upload the results says Dr. G.K. Suresh, City Programme Management Officer, National Urban Health Mission, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), "We have sent the proposal for registration. Once that's done we can start testing. Even the three clinics that have done the tests did not upload the results on the ICMR portal," he added.
A 25-year-old man was tested positive in the testing at Taverekere and informed via call that an ambulance driver would pick him up to be hospitalised, despite not being formally registered as a patient in the clinic's system, the report says.
"Four BBMP referral hospitals have received 500 antigen tests each. JJR Nagar, Srirampura, H Siddaiah Road, and Banashankari referral hospitals have already received the kits. Two will soon receive the kits." said Nirmala Buggi, Chief Health Officer, Clinical Health.
Another health officer in the city, Dr. Ravindra overseeing 37 health clinics said that each of the 137 fever clinics owned by the government had got 300 antigen tests. "If the Bengaluru Urban (BU) number is not generated for a patient who tests positive, he cannot be treated. Hence, we have to register our clinics in the ICMR portal. Unless each centre gets the login ID and password, we cannot do antigen testing for patients," said Ravindra, adding that lab technicians testing positive was also a major hindrance in beginning the testing.
"We might start antigen testing from Monday. First preference will be given to primary and secondary contacts of previously diagnosed patients, then to symptomatic patients and then to ILI cases from containment zones," said Dr. Darshan C, Administrative Medical Officer, Ashok Puram Dispensary UPHC.
As of now, each government fever clinic on July 11 had received 12 antigen test kits consisting of 25 tests each. These kits have been distributed among government fever clinics alone and not the private fever clinics.