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Every family to undergo COVID test in AP: Govt

Every family in Andhra Pradesh must be tested for Coronavirus within 90 days. This has been announced by the Government of Andhra Pradesh. The process, it said will include, ‘104’ (like the 911 in the US) mobile vehicles must be installed with facilities to collect samples of people and even test them for diabetes and hypertension, among other things.
 
The people who are screened shall be provided with Health Card with QR Codes. According to the government, people will also be provided with medicines and details of tests once the process is complete. Meanwhile, those who need to be further tested will be referred to the nearest Public Health Centre (PHC). 
 
For this screening and testing exercise, the AP Government is utilising the services of ASHA Workers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANMs) as well as volunteers. These 104 vehicles will drive through every village through which the screening/testing will be conducted. 
 
On an average, Andhra Pradesh is conducting 24,000 tests per day. This will be increased so that every person in the state is covered and tested. The strategy for testing has been applauded for first focussing on those above 60 and then those between 40 and 60 with comorbidities, people in containment or high-risk zones. This, the government says, has been working in detecting cases. 
 
Meanwhile, the government is also conducting random sampling in different places and public spaces. People arriving from others states too are under the government’s lens. 
 
Additionally, the government is also creating awareness and educating people about not isolating COVID patients. “There is a lot of stigma about COVID patients. That has become more of a social isolation exercise today. That needs to change and people need to start treating everyone with respect and empathy,” said an official. 
 
“A standard operating protocol (SP) should detail what needs to be done when someone is suspected of having COVID-19,” Health officials said, adding that all PHCs must have sample collection centres.
 
Officials were told to set up hoardings at village secretariats explaining what is to be done if one has corona symptoms, and give details of whom to contact and where to get tested. They were directed to focus on sanitation and distribution of medicines.

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