Taking its battle against COVID-19 to the next level, the Punjab Government on Tuesday launched Rapid Testing facility from Dera Bassi, Mohali .The facility was launched by Punjab's Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu by handing over 500 Rapid Testing Kits to the Civil Surgeon, for screening.The Health Minister informed that similar number has been given to Jalandhar district adding that with the in pour of more kits from ICMR, eventually all the 17 hotspots in the State would be covered in a phased manner.He said that the special feature of these kits is that they can be used for rapid/quick screening of and on suspected cases, on the spot. The test is simply done with a single prick to take a blood sample and the result is available in 15 minutes. The testing would initially be done for all patients attending flu corners of Government health facilities, who have symptoms for more than seven days. Thereafter, the samples of those who would be found positive in this, would be sent for further testing. This unique initiative would help a great deal in the real-time assessment of potential cases and would save the time.
Notably, the state government has ordered 10 lakh such Rapid Testing Kits from the ICMR, with inquiries raised for another 10000 in the open market. With testing being the key to 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, said he.Welcoming Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s decision to extend lockdown nationwide till May 3, S Balbir Singh Sidhu said that Prime Minister has put a stamp of approval on the decision of the Punjab Government, by extending the lockdown. He said that this decision would give strength the fight against corona virus by making further innovations in the containment plan.He also said that the people need to follow the guidelines issued by the Punjab Government from time to time in this regard and stay indoors. He also exhorted the people to wear masks and take all necessary precautions besides not paying attention to the rumours.