CM Wants 10,000 People Tested Daily for COVID-19 Symptoms

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar holding a high-level meeting to review Coronavirus preparedness in Bihar.

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Patna: Unhappy with his own administration's handling of the Coronavirus epidemic, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish on Tuesday directed the officials to raise the number of people being tested to 10,000 saying the current rate of less than 4,000 was just not enough to tame the deadly pandemic that has so far taken about 2300 lives nationwide and eight deaths in the state.

Kumar, at a meeting of top health officials on Tuesday to review the state's response to the growing cases of Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, said that Bihar was not doing enough to test the patients and in order to keep the corona curve flattened, it was imperative to test at least 10,000 people a day.

The meeting was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and other cabinet ministers.

"In the past few weeks, we have learnt that random testing of people is not enough. We must up our game and raise this number to 10,000 or more. Moreover, we must ensure adequate oxygen supply, oximeter, and other testing equipment to deal with the growing number of Corona cases. We also need to increase the number of isolation beds to keep the Corona patients separate from other patients," he said.

Kumar, who has been criticized for abandoning Bihari migrant labors in other states when other state governments were doing everything in their might to get them back home with their loved ones, issued a one-week ultimatum to his officials to coordinate with other states where Bihari workers were stranded for months due to restricted movement under nationwide lockdown.

"Get as many buses as required and go to neighboring states where Bihari workers are trapped due to the lockdown," he said.

The Chief Minister also muted the idea of an employment scheme for the returning workers saying the industry department should work on this on a war-footing level so the workers don't have to go out of state to seek employment.

Kumar also reiterated the need for social-distancing saying the best way to keep one's family safe from the deadly disease was to maintain the prescribed distance between two individuals and by practicing other hygienic advices like washing hands frequently and not touching surfaces without first sanitizing it.

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