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PMC downplays spike in cases, says results of pending tests arriving late

“While the collection of swab samples has increased, there are limitations on the number of tests that can be carried out. The laboratory report of the test should come in 12 hours but it is getting delayed by up to 36 hours”, said Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.

By: Express News Service | Pune | May 26, 2020 8:37:30 pm
Coronavirus death toll, Covid 19 cases, Pune cases, Pune news, indian express news The PMC first saw a spike of over 300 cases in a day on May 22, and the figure rose to 399 on May 25. (Representational)

As the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) reported a record 399 new coronavirus cases on Monday, authorities tried to assure local residents that there was no need to panic over the spike, as the higher number of positive cases was because of delayed testing of several samples, the results of which had come on Monday.

The PMC first saw a spike of over 300 cases in a day on May 22, and the figure rose to 399 on May 25.

“While the collection of swab samples has increased, there are limitations on the number of tests that can be carried out. The laboratory report of the test should come in 12 hours but it is getting delayed by up to 36 hours. The test results received on Monday were of samples collected in the last few days. The pendency for tests is increasing,” said Pune Divisional Commissioner Deepak Mhaisekar.

He said there was a need to increase testing, and he has taken up the issue with the agencies concerned. “I have spoken to representatives of NARI, NCCS and B J Medical College to scale up the testing capacity,” said Mhaisekar.

Meanwhile, the administration is planning to put up an online dashboard to provide latest updates on the pandemic situation to local residents. “The PMC has also increased screenings in containment zones. Rigorous screening and contact tracing has helped the PMC find more patients and admit them for treatment,” said a civic official.

The most-affected areas of the city have been under surveillance, and all suspected patients have been kept in institutional quarantine, he said.

NCP MP Supriya Sule had recently urged the Union government to increase the testing capacity in Pune. “It is the Union government that has to allow setting up of new laboratories and increase the capacity for testing… Increased testing capacity will help identify infected persons at a faster speed and enable effective implementation of the containment plan,” she said.

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