HYDERABAD: The Central government on Thursday expressed its displeasure on the Telangana state government for conducting less COVID-19 tests in the state. The Union Health Ministry said that conducting less tests will become a challenge for the state to curb the spread of the killer virus.
According to reports, Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan has written a letter to Somesh Kumar, Telangana Chief Secretary over the issue. She said that the number of positive cases being reported in Telangana is higher than the country's average.
The number of tests conducted in the state constitutes only 1.5 per cent, a total of 20,754, when compared to 14 lakh RT-PCR tests that were carried across India, the health ministry states.
The Union Health Secretary pointed out in the letter that the testing percentage in Telangana is also lesser than that of tests conducted in worst COVID-19 states of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
According to a report from a news agency, the Health Ministry official compared Telangana with neighbouring Telugu state Andhra Pradesh which tops the country in terms of COVID-19 tests by testing at least 9,000 tests every day, while the number of tests being tested in Telangana is only 200 samples per day. Telangana is testing only 546 persons per million population when compared with the national average of 1,025 a day.
State Health Minister Etela Rajender responded to the letter written by the Union Health Ministry. Defending the state, he said it is conducting the required number of tests in accordance with ICMR guidelines. He even added that in Telangana only six people were testing positive out of every 100 samples tested.
Telangana reported 1,661 positive cases and 40 people died due to COVID-19 in the state till date.