Chandigarh lags behind Panchkula, Mohali in Covid-19 testing
Panchkula has only 18 cases but has tested 1,525 persons, highest in the tricityUpdated: Apr 30, 2020 05:38 IST
Despite high number of cases, Chandigarh’s testing has not been vigorous, so much so that it couldn’t match even Panchkula and Mohali.
Chandigarh has reported 68 cases and tested only 1,013 people, while Mohali with 73 infections tested 1,411. Panchkula has only 18 cases but has tested 1,525 persons, highest in the tricity. Chandigarh has an estimated population of 14 lakh, Panchkula 6.6 lakh and Mohali 10 lakh.
The very first case in the tricity was reported in Chandigarh on March 18.
UT health secretary Arun Kumar Gupta said there was no criteria to gauge “how many are enough when it comes to testing”. “We have to follow the guidelines of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for testing. More testing in disregard of the guidelines is not an achievement,” he said.
In Chandigarh, testing is mainly being done at three centres. Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), which has a daily testing capacity of 200 people, and administration’s exclusive health facility GMCH-32 has a capacity to conduct 100 tests and Institute of Microbial Technology (IMTECH) can do 50 tests daily. Panchkula and Mohali did not have their own testing facility and samples taken there are being sent for to PGIMER and IMTECH. These two institutes are meant for the tests of samples sent by the UT as well.
Nodal officer for Covid-19, Mohali, and civil surgeon Dr Manjit Singh, said right from day one, the administration had gone for extensive sampling. “It has helped us in finding affected persons. It has proved fruitful, we will be more aggressive in future,” he added.
Former president of Chandigarh’s Indian Medical Association Dr RS Bedi said, “We (in Chandigarh) are at a stage where we have to chase the virus now. Chandigarh is not a big city and we can easily go for aggressive testing. We should go for random sampling even beyond the affected zones.”