Punjab lags behind in testing Covid patients for TB

Punjab lags behind in testing Covid patients for TB

In August the Union Health Ministry had asked for Covid screening for all diagnosed tuberculosis (TB) patients and TB screening for all Covid-19 positive patients.

Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21

In August the Union Health Ministry had asked for Covid screening for all diagnosed tuberculosis (TB) patients and TB screening for all Covid-19 positive patients.

However, according to the state health authorities, the target of testing TB patients for Covid has been achieved, but testing Covid patients for TB remains halfway.

Reaches halfway mark

  • Target of testing TB patients for Covid has been achieved, but testing Covid patients for TB remains halfway

Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, state nodal officer for Covid-19, said the state had fully achieved the target of testing TB patients for Covid-19, but it lagged behind in testing Covid-19 patients for TB.

The department is facing difficulty in collecting samples from Covid patients for TB screening as a majority of the patients are reluctant to go through the test and express their unwillingness to get the test done. Health teams have been given the responsibility to collect the samples of Covid positive patients for TB. Earlier same problem was faced in collecting samples of TB patients as they avoided going to hospitals for giving samples and later samples were collected when patients came to the hospital for follow up of their TB treatment.

“Only 50 per cent of the Covid patients have been tested so far for TB. Many TB patients are taking treatment from private hospitals and it is where it becomes little difficult to keep the things going,” said Dr Bhaskar.

He said there were nearly 40,000 TB patients in the state and those who tested positive for TB was one per cent and till now nearly 10 TB patients had lost their lives after testing Covid positive.

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