AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Thursday urged the State government to make Charminar Unani the first referral hospital to ensure that Covid-19 patients can have better access to healthcare. “This will also reduce the pressure on existing infrastructure,” he said.

In a series of tweets, the Hyderabad MP said he had visited Charminar Unani, King Kothi and Sarojini Devei eye hospital where testing for Covid-19 was being carried out for the public. “Since increased testing taken up on June 16, we’re seeing 250-300 tests per day per centre,” he said, adding that he spoke to Health Minister Eatala Rajender and urged him to increase RTPCR testing in each centre to at least 1,000 per day. 

“We need to better equip these facilities. Increasing capacity is essential since existing facilities have long wait-lists,” he said.

Owaisi, pointing out that RTPCR tests were the gold standards for further diagnosis and treatment of Covid-19 patients, said rapid antigen testing will also be available in Public Health Centres soon. “This is a welcome step but we’ll still need to expand RTPCR tests,” he suggested.

Urging Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and Rajender to give wide publicity for the free testing to encourage the public to get themselves tested, he said currently, testing was mostly limited to primary contacts of patients. “There is an urgent need to expand the net and ensure proactive testing by all,” Owaisi said, and urged people with chronic illnesses, particularly pregnant women, besides cardiac, cancer and dialysis patients to get tested at the earliest.

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