More than one lakh samples have been tested for Covid-19 infection in Punjab so far, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu Thursday said. He said Punjab has increased its testing per million to 3,259, which is higher than the national average of 3,046.
“Punjab has completed testing of over 1,00,000 samples for COVID-19,” the minister said in an official release here. Sidhu added that the state was conducting around 4,500 tests per day.
The minister said the state government has decided to provide special training to community health workers, staff nurses and pharmacists for collection of swab samples to increase sample collection capacity. The state government has also decided to conduct free testing for samples sent by empanelled private hospitals or clinics, he added.
The minister said instructions have been issued to civil surgeons to enlist private hospitals, clinics and laboratories which are willing to get empanelled. These facilities should have separate isolated spaces for suspected cases of COVID-l9 where samples will be taken, he said.
They shall arrange the required logistics, collect samples, pack them and send to the nearest government health facility as per protocol, Sidhu said. He said the private hospitals and clinics availing this facility should not charge more than Rs 1,000 from patients for sample collection.
39 new cases
Meanwhile, Punjab reported 39 new cases of novel coronavirus infection, taking the total tally to 2,415. Among the new cases were a pregnant woman from Muktsar and a police official from Hoshiarpur.
Fifteen cases were reported from Amritsar district alone out of which there were 14 cases in which source of infection was not yet known.
Eight positive cases, including two who returned from abroad and one arriving in the state via domestic air travel, had source of infection from outside the state, read the official media bulletin.
Ludhiana reported six new cases, all contacts of positive cases, and Pathankot and Jalandhar four each. The source of infection in cases from Jalandhar was also not known immediately as they did not have any travel history nor were they in touch with any known positive case.
Three cases were reported from Bathinda with travel history to Maharashtra.
The districts of Fazilka, Muktsar, Ropar, Nawanshahr, Sangrur, Hoshiarpur and Gurdaspur reported one new case each.
There are 325 active cases in the state. As many as 2,043 patients have recovered, as per the bulletin. A total of 47 COVID-19 deaths have been reported.
Maximum cases so far have been reported from Amritsar (405), followed by Jalandhar (262) and Ludhiana (206).
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