Karnataka to have 60 labs for COVID-19 testing by end of May
Seeking to ramp up its testing capacity for COVID-19, the Karnataka government propose to increase the number of labs in the state to 60 by this month end as against the existing 26, Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said on Friday.
The existing labs have a capacity to test about 5,000 samples a day, he said.
"We have boosted our COVID-19 testing capabilities. Gadag, Vijayapura, and Tumakuru get their own COVID-19 testing labs. From just two in February, we now have 26 labs and [are] capable of testing 5,000 per day. We will have 60 labs by end of May," Sudhakar tweeted.
As per health department data as of Thursday evening, a total of 60,156 samples have been tested in the state so far and 57,548 of them reported negative. On Thursday alone, 4,752 samples were tested and 4,307 of them turned negative.
The state's tally of COVID-19 cases stood at 576, including 22 deaths and 235 discharges.
In another development Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had launched Homeline, an initiative for doorstep delivery of essentials across Bengaluru city limits during the lockdown and claimed to be India's first integrated voice and message platform to provide citizens services
The chief minister said the home delivery service was a good initiative during the time of the lockdown. Its pilot has been successful in Bengaluru South. In seven days, more than 11,000 customers were served.
The homeline has been set up to reach the maximum number of people in Bengaluru, keeping in mind that every citizen is familiar with using a phone, a release from the office of Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya said.
It said a citizen can call 080 61914960 and speak to the call centre volunteer to place his or her order. Those familiar with WhatsApp can send a Hi to the same number.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)