Chandigarh, April 14 (IANS) Taking its battle against Covid-19 to the next level, the Punjab government on Tuesday launched rapid testing in two hotspot districts of the state -- Mohali and Jalandhar -- with the aim to eventually cover all the 17 hotspots in a phased manner.
The facility was launched by Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu at Dera Bassi town in Mohali district.
Additional Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan said the state government has received 1,000 rapid testing kits from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The two districts of SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Jalandhar have been given 500 kits each to start the rapid testing process, Mahajan said, adding that the facility is likely to be extended to other districts, according to the situation of suspected cases and availability of rapid testing kits.
The testing would initially be done for all patients attending the flu corners set up at the government health facilities, showing symptoms for more than seven days.
The test is done with a single prick to take blood sample and the result is available within 15 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 the Department of Health -- www.covid-19punjab.in – for gathering real-time information on testing and recording patients' profiles.
The state government has ordered 10 lakh such rapid testing kits from the ICMR, with demand raised for another 10,000 in the open market.
With testing being a key factor in 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.