Punjab: Rapid tests for Covid-19 start from Mohali, Jalandhar

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government began operating in the state for the first time since and on Tuesday with the aim of gradually covering the state's 17 hotspots.

Punjab's minister of health and family welfare began rapid tests from a subdivisional hospital in Dera Bassi that covers one of the critical points. This village has so far recorded 56 positive cases of, including two deaths.

Additional chief secretary Vini Mahajan said the state government had received 1,000 rapid test kits for the Covid-19 test on Monday from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Mohali and Jalandhar each received 500 kits to start the testing process starting Tuesday. He added that the facility is likely to be extended to other districts, depending on the suspicious case situation and the availability of rapid test kits.

The state health department would initially conduct tests for all patients attending flu corners of government health facilities who have symptoms for more than seven days. With the rapid test kit, the test is simply performed with a prick to take a blood sample and the result is available in 15 minutes.

The government has also ordered the 22 districts to submit daily reports of the tests conducted along with the results. The health department has also created a portal, www.covid-19punjab.in, to collect real-time information about tests and registration of the patient's profile.

The Punjab government has ordered 10 lakh of ICMR rapid test kits, in addition to raising inquiries for another 10,000 of these kits on the open market. In the coming days, the Punjab health department would try to expand the tests, as the tests are the key to controlling the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

17 Punjab hot spots

The 17 hotspots identified with the highest number of Covid-19 cases include the Jawaharpur village of the Mohali district in Dera Bassi, Phase 3-A, Phase 5, Phase 9, Sector 69 and 91. The Pathlawa and Sujjon villages of the Nawahshahr district. Nijatam Nagar and Virk Patts in Jalandhar, Moranwali in Hoshiarpur, Diamond Estate Colony and Udham Singh Nagar in Amritsar, Sujanpur in Pathankot, Amarpura in Ludhiana, Budhlada in Mansa and Chatwalli in the Ropar district.