CHANDIGARH: Taking its battle against COVID-19 to the next level, the Punjab government on Tuesday launched rapid testing facilities from two districts of the state, with the aim of eventually covering all the 17 hotspots in a phased manner.
The facility was launched by Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu at SDH Dera Bassi, with the commencement of sampling.
Additional Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said the state government had received 1000 Rapid Testing Kits for COVID-19 testing on Tuesday from the ICMR. The two districts of SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Jalandhar have been given 500 kits each to start the testing process, she said, adding that the facility is likely to be extended to other districts, according to the situation of suspected cases and availability of kits.
The testing would initially be done for all patients visiting flu centres of government health facilities, who have symptoms for more than seven days. The test is simply done with a single prick to take a blood sample and the result is available in fifteen minutes.
Instructions have been given to the districts to submit daily reports of the tests conducted along with the results. A portal has been created by Department of Health - www.covid-19punjab.in - for gathering real-time information on testing and recording the patients' profile.
The state government has ordered ten lakh Rapid Testing Kits from the ICMR, with inquiries raised for another 10,000 in the open market. With testing the key to controlling the spread of the pandemic, the government is planning to continuously expand its testing facilities, including that of rapid testing, over the next few days.