HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh, which has been seeing a sharp spike in number of Covid-19 positives linked to Tablighi Jamaat prayers at Nizamuddin recently, has announced placing an order for 3 lakh rapid testing kits for Covid-19.

Learning from the experience of other countries with respect to the need of Covid exclusive hospitals, the government has identified and designated 13 hospital in 13 district as Covid hospitals. No other patients will be treated in these hospitals to avoid further transmission, said the government.

In a statement on Tuesday, the AP government said authorities will undertake extensive testing in containment zones established across the state where positive cases have been reported.

Once the ordered equipment was delivered, AP will also undertake the exercise of randomly testing 8,000 samples from across the state to better understand the extent of the spread.

The government said it was also conducting a survey to identify symptomatic cases irrespective of travel history, vulnerable class such as those aged above 60 or those suffering from other comorbidities, healthcare workers who might have been exposed and others. A total of approximately 5,000 people have already been traced and the testing process for all these people has started.

The Andhra government also said equipment used for testing of Tuberculosis was tried and 5 positive patients and 5 negative patients were tested. Finding that the results were accurate, the government has decided on a two-step testing process from hereon in some cases.

Suspects will be tested using the Tuberculosis equipment and if the result was negative there will be no further process but if the results end up being positive, just to confirm once again, a PCR test will also be conducted. This, the government said, helps increase its testing capabilities immensely.

Meanwhile, the government said 280 out of the 304 positive cases reported in the state by far were due to attendees of the Delhi congregation.

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