Deccan Chronicle



Chief Minister K. Chandrashe­kar Rao has instructed his TRS MPs to be combative with the Centre during the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament to secure the state’s pending demands and the state’s legitimate share of GST monies.

The strategy emerged after Rao held a meeting with TRS Parliament­ary Party members at Pragathi Bhavan on Thursday to finalise the stance it will adopt during the Parliament session scheduled from September 14. The party chief told TRS Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members not to hesitate in exposing the BJP-led NDA government for the injustice it had subjected Telangana state to in the last seven years.

He asked the MPs to expose the Centre for not releasing the GST compensati­on due to state government­s in the name of Covid-19 pandemic and suggesting that the states borrow on their own. Sources in the party disclosed that Rao asked MPs to take the support like-minded parties for the purpose.

Addressing a press conference at Telangana Bhavan later, TRS Parliament­ary Party leader Dr K. Keshava Rao, and TRS leader in Lok Sabha Nama Nageswara Rao accused the Centre of neglecting the demands of the state government. They said the Chief Minister had got tired of writing letters to the Centre since the past seven years, requesting the PM and Union ministers concerned to resolving the state’s issues.

The Centre has instructed that states must followup on results of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for detecting Covid-19 and retest those whose results come in the negative if they develop any symptoms after they are tested using RATs.

On Thursday, the Union ministry of health said it has noticed that in some states, symptomati­c negative cases tested by RATs were not being followed up by RT-PCR testing. The Reverse Transcript­ion Polymerase Chain Reaction tests are considered the gold standard with respect to detecting Covid-19 cases.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) had previously declared that RATs are not fully reliable and there was plenty of scope for them giving false negative results. It had also said, way back in June, that those testing negative in a RAT, should be tested by RTPCR to rule out infection.

In Telangana state, bulk of the Covid-19 determinat­ion tests conducted daily are believed to be of the RAT variety. Of the

60,000-odd daily tests, it is believed that just around

10,000 could be of the RTPCR variety. However, the actual numbers of test types remain a mystery as the state government has never revealed the break-up of the numbers of RAT and Rt-PCR tests it conducts every day, or of those conducted by private testing laboratori­es.

Data on retesting has also not been released since the disease broke out in Telangana state in March this year.

The Union health ministry and the ICMR have now written a joint letter to the states saying that their guidelines clearly state that all symptomati­c (fever or cough or breathless­ness) negative cases of RATs, and asymptomat­ic negative cases of RAT that develop symptoms within two or three days of being tested negative, are “mandatoril­y retested using the RTPCR tests.”

The ministry also urged the states to “urgently establish a monitoring mechanism in every district with a designated officer or a team, and at the state level too, for following up on such cases. These teams, the health ministry said, “shall analyse details of RAT conducted on a daily basis in the districts and in the state and ensure that there are no delays in restesting of all symptomati­c negative cases.”

The states have further been advised to regularly analyse the incidence of positives during the follow up RT-PCR tests. This follow up testing procedure “is necessary to ensure that such symptomati­c negative cases do not remain untested and do not spread the disease among their contacts. This will also ensure early detection and isolation/hospitalis­ation of such false negatives,” the ministry said.

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