Gurugram: Health dept to take action against those getting repeated Covid-19 testsUpdated: Jul 09, 2020 23:45 IST
Gurugram The district health department will take strict action against a person who is found getting tested for Covid-19 multiple times, officials said on Thursday.
Clarifying that there is no objection to getting tested in case of being symptomatic or a high-risk contact of a Covid-19 patient, the health officials said that many people are repeatedly getting themselves tested through the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and rapid antigen testing by manipulating their contact details.
“Be it asymptomatic, symptomatic or those who have recovered, a number of people who are anxious and cannot await test results are going for both RT-PCR and antigen tests. Asymptomatic patients who have recovered are also getting themselves tested twice through either of the test,” said Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer (CMO).
It puts an additional burden on the testing infrastructure, he said, adding that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) does not allow repeated tests of an asymptomatic patient.
Yadav said that action will be taken under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897. “Giving incorrect contact details is an offence punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code,” he said.
Section 188 is the penal provision in case of failure to comply with official directives. It includes fine or imprisonment for a month.
Since July 1, the health department has been conducting antigen testing in a campaign mode in large outbreak areas of the district. The campaign will run till July 14. When HT visited one such camp at Jyoti Park, several asymptomatic patients, who had tested positive almost 15 days back, were at the camp to get themselves tested for antigen detection.
“Some residents are getting tested in Gurugram and Delhi by giving their wrong addresses or phone numbers. Sometimes they give same mobile numbers but wrong names or vice versa. On our data portal, our teams are trying to identify such duplicity,” said CMO, mentioning that the discrepancy is leading to data mismanagement.
However, he did not disclose the number of such cases where duplicity has been reported till now.
As per the norms, for an RT-PCR test, a person has to show an identity proof. The district administration officials have clarified that Aadhaar card is not mandatory as it gives the native address of the person instead of the temporary address.
“People often give wrong address as labs and hospitals are now asking for current residential address. In a situation like this, misinformation adds additional burden to the existing machinery which is already under pressure for contact tracing and testing,” said Yadav.
Meanwhile, Gurugram on Thursday reported 151 new cases, taking the total number of persons infected with Sars-CoV-2 virus to 6,467 in the district. Of the total positive cases, 987 are active cases while 5,377 patients have recovered, as per the official data. The Covid-19 toll in the district stands at 103. At least, 741 patients are under home quarantine, the officials said.
According to the officials, in Gurugram, 54,724 people have been tested through RT-PCR and antigen testing till now.