By Dheeraj Sinha*
Patna: Even as Bihar’s recovery rate hovers around impressive 70 percent, the figures themselves could be misleading due to multiple factors.
A large number of Covid-19 patients do not undergo corona test even for the second time after spending stipulated time in home quarantine or government-run quarantine centres. Since the caseload is so huge, government is apparently more inclined to assume a Covid-19 patient treated if he is quarantined for the prescribed period and his sample is not tested again.
If a person tests positive in antigen test, he is considered as a corona patient but if he tests negative, his sample is tested again through RT-PCR testing kit or TrueNAT machine. But for reconfirmation, his sample is sent to Patna as the confirmatory test kits have exhausted at Sadar Hospitals nearly a fortnight ago. It can take 4-5 days to 10 days to get reports from Patna and amazingly a person found positive in the preliminary test could mingle with people as he is not quarantined till confirmatory reports are received from Patna.
All it is done when there have been instances that Covid-19 patients have tested positive even after four tests, informed the source.
Relaxations in home quarantine norms have further blunted the fight against the pandemic in the state. After the district magistrates were empowered to allow home quarantine of positive patients, medical In charge of block level hospitals have also been authorised to sanction home quarantine on their discretion. It has potentially aggravated the crisis as several people are cramped in a small house, with utter disregard to quarantine and social distancing norms. Even the positive patients, put in home quarantine, are not given drug kits and also their oxygen level is not monitored, despite it has been mandated by the government, the source added.
*Dheeraj Sinha is a senior journalist