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The health ministry said that the prevalence of TB among covid-19 patients has been found to be 0.37 – 4.47% in different studies (ANI)
The health ministry said that the prevalence of TB among covid-19 patients has been found to be 0.37 – 4.47% in different studies (ANI)

Government orders bidirectional covid-19-TB testing

This, the government said, not only results in increased susceptibility, but also rapid and severe symptom development and disease progression with poor outcomes

The union health ministry has directed authorities to conduct bidirectional covid-19- tuberculosis (TB) screening citing scientific studies showing history of active as well as latent TB an important risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection.

This, the government said, not only results in increased susceptibility, but also rapid and severe symptom development and disease progression with poor outcomes. The health ministry said that the prevalence of TB among covid-19 patients has been found to be 0.37 – 4.47% in different studies.

“Tuberculosis is associated with a 2.1-fold increased risk of severe covid-19 disease. In addition, TB patients also tend to have co-morbid or living conditions such as malnutrition, diabetes, smoking, HIV etc that increase their vulnerability.," said the union health ministry in a guidance note.

“There has been an overall decline in TB notification by 26% during January to June 2020 as compared to previous year, due to the covid-19 pandemic. In order to address this dual morbidity of

Tuberculosis and covid-19, covid-19 screening for all diagnosed TB patients and TB screening for all covid-19 positive patients should be conducted," the ministry said.

It also said that TB screening should also be done for all influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI). Cases of covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country. India in last 24 hours recorded the highest ever single day rise in covid-19 cases with 75090 people getting inflicted with the novel coronavirus taking the total tally to 3315322. The toll reached 60976 with a record 1005 deaths in last 24 hours. The national Case Fatality Rate in India is currently 1.83%.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Guaba on Thursday held a video conference (VC) with the Chief Secretaries and Health Secretaries of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, Dr Balram Bhargava, director general Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Vinod Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog were also present in the review meeting about the covid-19 management and response strategy in these States/UT.

“It was observed that out of the total deaths in the country in the last two weeks, 89% of deaths are in these 10 States/UT and hence, these States/UT need to have continued and rigorous vigil so as to contain the spread of infection as well as take steps to reduce fatalities," the union health ministry said in a statement adding that the States/UT were advised to proactively take steps towards reducing case fatality to less than 1% across all districts.

Bhushan made a detailed presentation on the current status of covid-19 in these States/UT, with a focus on districts reporting high case fatality and the need to refine as well as strengthen approach and strategies relating to testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, home isolation, availability of Ambulances, hospital beds, oxygen, treatment protocols, etc.

Meanwhile, India’s cumulative tests reach nearly 3.9 crore on Thursday. 9,24,998 lakh tests were conducted in last 24 hours across the country. This has spurred the total tests to 3,85,76,510. India's total covid-19 recoveries have surpassed cross 2.5 million today with 25,23,771 patients cured of the disease in last 24 hours, the union health ministry said.

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