Amidst the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the State, the Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu said that it was mandatory for all labs and hospitals to immediately inform their respective Civil Surgeon’s offices about detection of any COVID-19 affected person for strengthening the containment measures.Pertinently, the Punjab government has already allowed the private laboratories and health centres to conduct tests of suspected patientsPointing out the importance of preventive measures, Mr. Sidhu said that it is of utmost importance that each and every case (suspected/confirmed) of COVID-19 is isolated and provided appropriate treatment and their contacts to be traced at earliest to break the chain of transmission. Support and cooperation of the private sector is also vital in this regard.It is mandatory for all hospitals (Government and Private), Medical officers in Government health institutions and registered Private Medical Practitioners including AYUSH Practitioners, to also notify such person to concern district surveillance unit, he said.Divulging about the capping of charges for CT-HRCT Scan for chest and RT-PCR for COVID-19, Health Minister said that no private diagnostic centers should charge any amount more than Rs. 2000- for CT-Scan/HRCT chest, inclusive of GST/Taxes, documentation and reporting in the State of Punjab. Similarly, no Private laboratory should charge any amount more than Rs.900 for RT-PCR test for COVID 19.Mr. Sidhu clarified that the lab has to strictly follow all the testing protocols as laid down by ICMR & the GoI and the State Government from time to time. He said that the Private Laboratories must share their data pertaining to the results of tests for COVID-19 with the State Government and uploaded it on ICMR portal on a timely basis. The test report should communicate to the patient immediately after the testing is complete and all test results should immediately communicate to the Civil Surgeon of the concerned district and State IDSP cell of Punjab.All the private NABL & ICMR approved laboratories have instructed that information of the patient must be maintained with utmost confidentiality he said adding that if any private institute found dereliction in their responsibility strict action would be taken under Epidemic Disease Act 1895, COVID-19 Regulations 2020.He informed that one Chandigarh-based Lab has been issued a show-cause notice for overcharging and one license of Amritsar-based lab has been canceled for violating the conditions issued by the State government. District-level teams have been constituted to conduct surprise checking of such centres.