South India Covid-19 Updates: Karnataka to re-launch aborted rapid antibody tests


The Karnataka government has decided to re-launch the aborted rapid antibody-based tests for COVID-19 in the state. The state government had stopped the earlier attempt as the Chinese kits used for the test did not match the desired quality.

The Karnataka government has decided to re-launch the aborted rapid antibody-based tests for COVID-19 in the state. The state government had stopped the earlier attempt as the Chinese kits used for the test did not match the desired quality.

The government has now procured kits from two manufacturers in South Korea and Netherlands and another from India. Dr CN Manjunath, Director of Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research and the nodal officer of testing for COVID-19 in the state, said that the kits have been proved to be good, according to News Minute.

A trial for one of these kits, made by the South Korean manufacturer, was tried in Kolar district. Kolar District Health Officer Dr Vijaykumar said they have done around 800 tests with these kits; among them, 350 tests were then verified through swab tests and the results were uniform.

As of Monday evening, Bidar has 13 active cases, with 1 death and 13 other patients who have been discharged following their recovery. Officials suggested that since most of the cases are asymptomatic in the state and in the country, the way forward is to do mass testing.

Karnataka reported 42 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, taking the total number of the infected in the state to 904.

Airport model screening in Kerala railway stations

The Kerala government is planning to install airport-model COVID-19 screening at three railway stations in the state, where the trains will halt, with the Railways starting special train carrying passengers to the state from Tuesday, May 13. These special trains will have only three stops in the state -- Kozhikode, Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram.

State minister VS Sunil Kumar said symptomatic passengers will be shifted to hospitals from the stations and others would be transported to their home districts in specially arranged Kerala State Road Transport (KSRTC) buses.

Railways will provide us with the full address details of the passengers. We will segregate them according to their respective districts and finalise the list of people alighting at the three stations. Those who reach the state will be screened and tested for symptoms," Sunil Kumar told PTI.

The minister said that counters like those at the airports to screen passengers would be in place at the three stations. "We will open separate counters like we have done in the airports. We expect at least 1,400 people in each train and they will alight at three different stations. The final plan will be made by Wednesday evening," he said.

The passengers will be subjected to thermal screening at the railway stations. A passenger having high temperature would be segregated and sent to the hospitals for a formal check-up, the minister said."Those who are symptomatic will be sent to hospital. Non-symptomatic persons will be allowed to board KSRTC buses, taken to their districts and home quarantined," he added.

The state has 520 confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far and currently 27 are under treatment.

Telangana to reduce seating capacity in buses

The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is planning to reduce the seating capacity of buses to ensure physical distance once the lockdown is lifted. Senior officials said that the services will resume with a proper plan to ensure social distancing in the bus stops as well as in the buses.

“The seating capacity will be reduced to half. Apart from that, we are also ensuring that there is no overcrowding or foot boarding in the buses,” a senior official was quoted by Times of India as saying.

There is also a proposal increasing the online availability of tickets for most of the bus services to avoid long queues at bus stations. As of now, tickets are available online for only premium services like Vajra, Garuda Plus, Garuda and Rajadhani through the portal

Meanwhile, the fourth 'Vande Bharat Mission' flight to Hyderabad from UK landed at the city's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the wee hours of Tuesday with 331 passengers on board. The Air India flight, AI 1839, that took from London's Stansted Airport around 9.45am (local time) on Monday landed at RGIA at 2.21am.

Apart from stranded employees the flight -- London-Delhi-Hyderabad -- also ferried students from Telangana who had sought help from the government to be repatriated.

Tamil Nadu to conduct Class X exams from June 1

The Tamil Nadu government has decided to conduct state board Class X exams from June 1 to 12. The evaluation of Class XII answer scripts would begin on May 27, State school education minister K A Sengottaiyan said on Tuesday.

The exams were scheduled to be held from March 27 to April 13. But they were postponed in the wake of Covid-19. The minister said that the government was yet to take a decision on reopening schools post- Covid-19 lockdown. A postponed Class XI exam (that was to be held on March 26) will be held on June 2 while the re-exam for absentees of Class XII final exam will be held on June 4.

The decision has shocked teachers and parents since the state has been witnessing a steady spike in new cases of coronavirus. Many felt that the government could have waited for a few more days to analyse the situation before making the announcement and releasing the exam timetable.

The state recorded 798 new coronavirus cases as of 8:00 AM on May 12. This brings the total reported cases of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu to 8,002. Among the total people infected as on date, 2,051 have recovered and 53 have passed away.

38 fresh coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh

As many as 38 new coronavirus cases were reported as of 8:00 AM on May 12 in Andhra Pradesh, according to data released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This brings the total reported cases of coronavirus in Andhra Pradesh to 2,018. Among the total people infected as on date, 975 have recovered and 45 have passed away (with inputs from agencies)

Image Credit: Economic Times


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