Hyderabad: Telangana health minister Eatala Rajender, on 24 June, said the state is planning to increase the number of COVID-19 tests to 10,000 per day. At present, government-run hospitals and laboratories are conducting over 2,000 tests daily.

"We will increase the number of tests per day by 6,600. Another 2,000-3,000 tests will be conducted by private labs. In all, the state can conduct 10,000 tests a day," he said after a visit to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) at Gachibowli here. Tests in Greater Hyderabad and surrounding areas will continue even after completing 50,000 tests, he said, adding, "We can do lakhs of tests."

The minister said the state government has ordered a machine to increase the testing capacity and it is expected to be delivered next month. A machine meant for Telangana that would have increased the testing capacity by 4,000 had been diverted by the Centre, he said, alleging that the BJP leaders had started resorting to cheap politics over the corona virus issue.

People who have no COVID symptoms need not undergo tests or come to hospitals, he said, adding that asymptomatic patients should be treated at their homes. "If such people come to hospitals they will be denying beds and medical services to symptomatic patients, who need to be hospitalized," he said.

Reassuring the public that the majority of the over 9,000 patients have recovered from the virus, the minister said there was nothing to be scared of over the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases. "The death rate is very low compared to SARI, ILI, and H1N1," Mr. Rajender said, adding some people were playing politics and creating fear among people and tarnishing the image of Hyderabad.

Mr. Rajender urged people not to believe in rumours and said the government is willing to spend any amount to save people's lives. Regarding private hospitals that are charging huge amounts for COVID-19 treatment, he said if anyone has tested positive or has symptoms of the virus they can visit the government hospital which provides the best treatment for free. "There is no need to go to private hospitals and spend lakhs of rupees," he said

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