Nod for free walk-in tests in govt hospitals - ECAS Punjab

Nod for free walk-in tests in govt hospitals

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Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 3

In order to combat the Covid-19 outbreak, the government has decided to allow free walk-in testing in the government hospitals and mobile vans. Similar testing method will be adopted in private hospitals with charges not exceeding Rs 250.

People who want their results immediately can opt for rapid antigen tests while RT-PCR tests will also be carried out. The government will explore similar arrangements for rapid antigen tests by pharmacists/chemists.

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said the government will provide training and kits to private hospitals and doctors to conduct tests, which will be allowed on the basis of Aadhar card and mobile numbers, without any questions asked or need for "parchis".

"As results of rapid antigen tests will be available in 30 minutes, this will lead to substantial increase in testing and early diagnosis," she said.

"Those who test positive through rapid antigen tests or are symptomatic, but negative can be tested again through RT-PCR test for confirmation," said the Chief Secretary.

She reviewed the situation with the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Civil Surgeons of Patiala, Bathinda, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Mohali. The Chief Secretary asked the DCs to explore rapid antigen tests at private hospitals and pharmacies/chemist shops, at a nominal cost. She instructed that 104 helpline no. should provide real-time availability of beds in the districts. She directed the Civil Surgeons to ensure adequate supply of Oxygen cylinders.

Mahajan further asked the DCs to review city-wise or area-wise positivity rates to identify hotspots. All the districts should have reasonable projections at hand for the month, she said. The Chief Secretary asked elected representatives to reach out directly to the people to clear their misconceptions related to the pandemic.

Health secretary Hussain Lal underlined the need for extensive sampling and testing in five worst affected districts, including Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Patiala, Mohali and Amritsar.

from The Tribune

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