PUNJAB HAS quadrupled its testing capacity for COVID-19, with 33 cases having testing positive in the state till date.
From testing 80-100 samples per day at Government Medical College, Amritsar, and Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, the state government has now allowed the two institutions to test 320 samples (overall) in a day. Both colleges are equipped for preliminary testing of COVID-19, but for confirmation, the reports are either sent to NIV Pune, or PGIMER Chandigarh.
The state cannot test more than 320 samples in a day.
Sources said the capacity was ramped up after Government of India (GOI) protocol directing the states to test all those coming in contact with coronavirus patients. Earlier, only symptomatic patients were tested, but now it is mandatory to test all including the health workers and doctors coming in contact with patients testing positive.
The state has been testing more samples for past two days. On Monday, it had tested 251, by Thursday it had tested 722. Of these, results of 376 are awaited.
Earlier, the two government hospitals were receiving only 8-10 samples in a day. But now testing has been stepped up, an official of the government said.
The government has already divided the state into three regions for testing. “Samples of suspects from Malwa region are sent to the Patiala hospital, from Majha they sent to the Amritsar hospital while samples from Mohali, Ropar and Fatehgarh Sahib go to PGI in Chandigarh.”
A government doctor said they were not taking any chances. “We have been identifying those who participated in the Holla Mohalla. It has been a tedious job. But we have been doing it. At villages in Anandpur Sahib, we have quarantined 20-22 people in each village.”
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