The UT administration have been lauded by MHA for stepping up testing in Chandigarh.(HT PHOTO/For representation only)
The UT administration have been lauded by MHA for stepping up testing in Chandigarh.(HT PHOTO/For representation only)

MHA officials want UT admin to focus on critically ill Covid patients

MHA officials said in a virtual meeting on Tuesday that while the UT had been successful in keeping mortality rates down, it had to ensure that the toll did not go up even as positive cases increased
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By Munieshwer A Sagar, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON SEP 15, 2020 11:11 PM IST

The Central government on Tuesday reiterated that the UT administration had to renew focus on care of critically ill Covid-19 patients as well as those suffering from other ailments.

Appreciating the administration’s efforts to step up Covid-19 testing in the city since their last meeting on September 4, ministry of home affairs (MHA) officials, including the Union home secretary, said in a virtual meeting on Tuesday that while the UT had been successful in keeping mortality rates down, it had to ensure that the toll did not go up even as positive cases increased.

According to UT adviser Manoj Parida, “We have increased testing and expanded the bed capacity in the city. We have been asked to strengthen the contact tracing mechanism and monitoring of home quarantined (patients).”

FOCUS ON NON-COVID PATIENTS

With public health care facilities largely closed for non-Covid patients, the MHA asked UT officials to ensure timely treatment for them even while managing the Covid pandemic. The outpatient departments of all Chandigarh hospitals were shut down after the first Covid case was detected in March. Now, however, even as tele-consultation is being provided to patients, emergencies are open only to those requiring immediate intervention.

RE-VALIDATE ANTIGEN TESTS IF NEEDED

With doubts being raised over antigen testing results, the MHA officials directed the UT officials to revalidate the results of the antigen test with RT-PCR tests if required.

“For the first contact family members of Covid patients we are already conducting RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, considered the gold standard in Covid-19 testing) tests. In other cases too we will follow up the antigen tests with RT-PCR tests on a random basis to check their efficacy. Also, if some patient raises questions about the antigen tests we will conduct RT-PCR tests,” said Parida.

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