Countering the surge in Covid cases upfront, Punjab Government has upgraded the viral testing of COVID-19 in the State to 20, 000 tests per day, informed Mr.O.P Soni, Medical Education & Research Minister Punjab after inaugurating Corona labs at Punjab Biotechnology Incubator and Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory, Mohali jointly with Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu Health Minister Punjab.
A spike in cases is being observed nationwide but we in Punjab are geared up to meet the challenge. Punjab is the Frontrunner State in the country to upgrade its health infrastructure and viral testing capacity at a record pace, said Medical Education & Research Minister.
He informed that four laboratories would be operational in the State from today onwards whereby the pace of viral testing for COVID-19 would escalate from existing 16000 tests to 20,000 tests per day. The other two labs to be operational today are Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar and viral testing lab at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana.
Don’t panic, take due precautions. Follow government advisories exhorted Medical Education & Research Minister and the Punjab Health Minister.
Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu stated that surfacing of a large number of cases in itself shows that we are doing viral testing at a large scale.
With the timely tests the infected people are being isolated from others thus reducing the chances of further spread.
Pertinently, Punjab has become “first state in the country” where apart from Departments of Health and Medical Education and Research, the facilities of state’s Home Department (Forensic Science Laboratory at Mohali), Animal Husbandry Department (Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Jalandhar, and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University [GADVASU], Ludhiana) and Science and Technology Department (Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali) would be put to use for viral testing of COVID-19.
Each of the four laboratories is equipped with 16 pieces of equipment which include refrigerated centrifuge, fully automated biosafety cabinet, real time PCR and spectrometer. The paraphernilia cost Rs 1 crore for each laboratory. A total of 83 officials, which include microbiologists, research assistants, medical laboratory technicians, data entry operators and other ancillary staff, have been appointed in the four laboratories.
Besides others, ACS Home, Mr Satish Chandra, Principal Secretary Medical Education and Research Punjab D K Tiwari and Vice-Chancellor Vice-Chancellor Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) Dr Raj Bahadur were present on the occasion.