As the ICMR asked states to suspend rapid testing for two days in view of inaccurate reports, Punjab had also reported to the Centre about the false reports generated by rapid testing kits (RTKs).
The Mohali district administration had conducted the test using a rapid testing kit on five COVID-19 positive patients in isolation ward in Gian Sagar Hospital at Banur just to check the efficacy of the kit.
“But to our shock, three patients tested negative out of five. While three patients tested negative for IgM, a woman tested negative for IgG on the rapid testing kit (RTK). We tested her again and conducted RT-PCR and she again tested positive. The matter was brought to the notice of the government by Civil Surgeon of Mohali,” Mohali DC Girish Dyalan told The Indian Express.
The administration did not want to waste too many kits by checking rapid testing on many other positive patients, “Hence, we just ran five tests randomly. We just found out that the kits could not be trusted. We are now waiting for the next directions,” said Dyalan.
Mohali is the district topping the number of COVID-19 positive cases at 62. Out of the first lot of 1,000 kits received by the state from ICMR, the first 500 were sent to Mohali as Jawaharpur, a village in Dera Bassi, has become a containment zone.
After preparing to ramp up testing by using RTKs in all the hot spots and containment areas in the state, Punjab’s plan to engage in rapid testing has suffered a setback with ICMR’s latest orders.
Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu told The Indian Express that after getting an instruction from the ICMR, the state government had also banned testing by RTK. “We have banned the testing for two days. We have also run trials to check the authenticity of the kits and COVID-19 positive patients tested negative. We have informed the Centre about it,” he said.
As for Union Territory of Chandigarh, the Adviser informed the UT Administrator that the Central government has asked them to stop rapid testing for the next two days till further clarification in the matter.
The Administrator directed the Adviser to involve representatives and volunteers for effectively maintaining sealing of various colonies and areas and for enforcing social distance.
Principal Secretary Health Arun Kumar Gupta has been asked to ensure coordination among the three medical institutions handling testing and treatment of COVID cases. He stated that as per protocol necessary arrangements should be made to ensure that the infected people are kept in isolation while their samples are getting tested in the laboratory.
The Administrator emphasized that those areas, which are being specifically sealed due to corona outbreak should be provided with doorstep delivery of vegetables and ration, so that they do not have to come out of their residential areas.
It was stated that necessary screening of vendors, traders, hawkers and distributors of milk, delivery boys have been completed through a special drive.
The Municipal Corporation is taking special steps to ensure supply of essential items to Kacchi Colony, Dhanas and Sector 30-B, Chandigarh. Three water tanks have been sent there for supplying water in Kacchi Colony, Dhanas.
The Administrator appealed to the PGIMER medical experts to research and find out new ways to contain corona through methods like plasma and placenta therapy treatment and vaccine for the COVID-19.
UT divides city into six zones, makes list of plumbers, electricians, AC mechanics
The UT Administration on Tuesday divided the city into six zones and authorised 12 plumbers, electricians and AC repair workers for each zone.
UT Adviser Manoj Parida stated that for the convenience of the residents, a list of plumbers, electricians and AC mechanics has been procured and publicised. People can avail their services on payment. The list is available on website of the administration. All of them would be asked to follow protocol of sanitisation before reaching out to people.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines