Testing labs in the State will soon be asked to stagger their fumigation process over a week so as to not let testing numbers dip during the weekend.

While the improved testing rate is being cited as one of the factors lending to the higher COVID-19 numbers in the State, testing numbers are not consistent. For instance, though the number of tests conducted over the last 10 days have been over 20,000 (touching 48,421 on one day), on Monday, the number of tests conducted fell to 22,260. However, on Tuesday, 43,924 tests were conducted, including Rapid Antigen Detection Test, RTPCR and others.

Sources in Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar’s office said laboratories usually reserve the fumigation process for the weekend. “This results in a dip in testing numbers. Discussions are on to get labs to stagger this process over the week, either through an internal communication or through the order of the Chief Secretary,” a source said.

A similar decrease was seen in the testing numbers of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) war room data too. Ten days’ data showed that on Saturday, 6,167 tests were conducted compared to the numbers for the weekdays, which were between 9,000 and 14,200. Again, on August 2, which was a Sunday, testing numbers were 6,725.

Acknowledging fumigation as a factor, Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, BBMP war room special officer, said with the exception of weekends, testing had been ramped up in the recent days.

“In Bengaluru testing has definitely increased. We are aiming at targeted testing and are trying to maximise lab efficiency. Daily dynamic targets are given to zones. Teams have been trained and mobile teams are also there on field,” she said.

Till date, as many as 17,72,991 tests have been conducted in Karnataka, including 3,81,492 Rapid Antigen Detection tests and 13,91,499 RT PCR and other tests.

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