State lags in testing, 3,500 samples pending - ECAS Punjab

State lags in testing, 3,500 samples pending

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Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 26

The government-run Covid-19 testing laboratories seem to be overworked as the reports of nearly 3,500 samples are pending in the state.

There are three government-run laboratories, located in each of the three government medical colleges in Amritsar, Patiala and Faridkot. All three together has the capacity to process 1,200 samples, if these operate round the clock.

As per the government's media bulletin for the past two days, results of over 3,500 samples are pending. The number has gone up by 15 times in one week. It was just 245 on April 20 and increased to 335 on April 21, 530 the next day and swelled to 3,569 on April 25.

Officials of the Health Department in various districts reveal that the laboratories are now rejecting samples on flimsy ground. Sources claim on Sunday alone over 600 samples were sent back to various districts on the pretext of small mistakes accompanying forms. The sources say that there are even instances when a complete lot of samples was turned down only because there was error in some of the forms.

So far in the past almost two months, the state-run laboratories have conducted 14,317 tests. Punjab is far behind Haryana in testing. The state has done 35 per cent less tests than Haryana. The neighboring state has tested a total of 21,467 samples so far and the reports of only about 1,930 samples were awaited.

DK Tiwari, Principal Secretary, Medical Education and Research, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Meanwhile, the state reported 14 fresh Covid-19 cases on Sunday. With this, the count has reached 322. According to the media bulletin, 12 new cases were reported from Jalandhar, one each from SBS Nagar and Ludhiana. In Jalandhar, which is now the worst affected district in the state, the 12 patients included a 48-year-old migrant originally from Maharashtra, who died due to complications related to Covid-19.

The others comprise a mediaperson (60) of Bhagat Singh Colony and another relative (37) of three persons who had earlier tested positive. Besides the three cases mentioned in state's official bulletin, nine more cases were reported from Jalandhar, taking the total count of the district to 78.

from The Tribune

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