Centre tells UP, Haryana to ramp up testing with Rapid Test Kits, recommends use of Itihaas App


Rapid Antigen test kits will help in reducing infection transmission rate below 10 per cent as suggested by WHO, Home Minister Amit Shah said during the meeting on Thursday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during the meeting on Thursday

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan during the meeting on Thursday (Photo Credits: PTI)

The Government of India has decided to provide Rapid Antigen testing kits to Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to help them control the novel coronavirus outbreak and reduce mortality rates in the National Capital Region (NCR).

This decision was taken during a meeting on Thursday chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar were among those who were part of the meeting.

Focus was laid on the management of the Covid-19 situation in the NCR during the meeting on July 2. Officials privy to minutes of the meeting said that a decision has been taken to ramp up testing in the NCR “using Rapid Antigen testing kits to help reduce infection transmission rate”.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah said more testing via Rapid Antigen test kits will help in reducing infection transmission rate below 10 per cent as suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO). Nearly 90 per cent of screening is possible through these kits, Home Minister Shah added.

Already in use in Delhi, the Rapid Antigen testing kits can give results in half an hour.

In UP, Noida, and Ghaziabad have witnessed a sharp spike in confirmed cases of Covid-19 these last few weeks whereas Gurugram in Haryana has also been reporting a similar surge.

During the meeting on Thursday, it was also decided that the focus should be on early hospitalisation of confirmed and suspected cases in order to reduce the mortality rates. An official from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said, “In order to reduce the death rate, the Union Home Minister stressed on getting patients admitted to the hospital at the earliest and said that from the view of humanity it is very important that we can save the life of the poorest of the poor.”

The use of Aarogya Setu App and Itihaas App was mentioned repeatedly by the Union Home Minister for mapping cases in NCR. Sources told India Today that combined use of Aarogya Setu and Itihaas apps have yielded promising results.

Itihaas App is a mobile application that is being used as a strong predictive tool for future detection of COVID outbreaks in population clusters. It was developed by MeITy and tracks history of areas visited by people who were using Aarogya Setu and were later found to be infected with Covid-19. The app was originally developed for Gujarat but the MHA has now recommended it for use in other states.

“Union Home Minister added that AIIMS Delhi Telemedicine consultation model being used in Delhi for COVID patients should be replicated in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana also. He suggested that UP and Haryana can join AIIMS-Telemedicine COVID consultation through which patients can get advice by expert doctors. Training for doctors in small hospitals in UP and Haryana can be provided by AIIMS with the help of Tele-videography,” the MHA official added.

IndiaToday.in has plenty of useful resources that can help you better understand the coronavirus pandemic and protect yourself. Read our comprehensive guide (with information on how the virus spreads, precautions and symptoms), watch an expert debunk myths, and access our dedicated coronavirus page.
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