Kerala reduces Covid test rates, while K’taka and Maharashtra search for missing UK returnees

The state is preparing for its vaccine dry run tomorrow, while schools reopened today welcoming about 10 lakh students back to campus
Kerala reduces Covid test rates, while K’taka and Maharashtra search for missing UK returnees

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja had announced the details of the vaccine dry run scheduled in four districts in the state. Three hospitals in Thiruvananthapuram and one each in Wayanad, Idukki, and Palakkad will participate in the dry run. According to reports, private hospitals will also be participating in the dry run.

The minister has also announced that prices of the diagnostic tests have also been cut short considering how the Indian Council of Medical Research had approved many cheap alternatives. This is the second time that the state is bringing down the price of diagnostic tools. The new prices are inclusive of all the personal protection kit, swabbing charges, and other fees. The minister has reiterated that ICMR/state-sanctioned laboratories and hospitals must abide by the new fees.

The current prices are: RT-PCR [open] test will be Rs 1,500, Expert NAT test is Rs 2,500, True NAT test is Rs 1,500, RT-LAMP is Rs 1,150, and Rapid Antigen test is Rs 300.

Moreover, schools have reopened in Kerala after long 10 months, welcoming almost 10 lakh students — class X and XII — back to campuses. Students got into their classrooms after going through temperature checks, wearing masks, and keeping their sanitisers close. The teachers have also returned with a strong spirit, as they have to complete practical and revision classes by February-end for the exams in March. Schools that were not able to open today due to technical difficulties will start functioning from Monday onwards.

As the new coronavirus is spreading panic in many other nations apart from the UK, Indians still seem to misunderstand the complexity of the matter. Hundreds of passengers returning from the UK had provided fake addresses before leaving the country. The discovery follows Centre’s decision to check everyone who had landed in the country from the UK within the last month.

Over 30,000 people returned to India from the UK from November 25 till December 23, and considering the panic due to the mutated Covid-19, the govt had decided to test the returnees with RT-PCR. As officials began looking for the people, they realised that many had provided fake information at the health desks in the airports.

Over 2,500 people from Punjab, 570 from Karnataka, 279 from Telangana, 109 from Maharashtra, 27 from Odisha, and many more are listed as absconding. The officials have started a widespread search for the missing passengers. Governments of Maharashtra and Karnataka have strengthened their search for the absconding passengers and they have vowed to find them within a few days.

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