Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu carries out spot verification at Banderdewa check gate in Arunachal-Assam border to ensure that all points of entry into the state are fully equipped to detect any COVID-19 suspected cases, Saturday, April 18, 2020.(PTI)
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu carries out spot verification at Banderdewa check gate in Arunachal-Assam border to ensure that all points of entry into the state are fully equipped to detect any COVID-19 suspected cases, Saturday, April 18, 2020.(PTI)

Arunachal to outsource Covid-19 testing; engage retired healthcare workers on contractual basis

In a meeting held at Itanagar, the cabinet also decided to procure adequate Covid-19 related equipment and engage the services of retired healthcare professionals on a contractual basis.
Hindustan Times, Guwahati | By Utpal Parashar
UPDATED ON MAY 29, 2020 06:47 PM IST

Arunachal Pradesh cabinet on Friday approved a move to outsource coronavirus disease (Covid-19) tests in a bid to clear the backlog in the north-east’s largest and the most sparsely populated and remote state.

In a meeting held at Itanagar, the cabinet also decided to procure adequate Covid-19 related equipment and engage the services of retired healthcare professionals on a contractual basis.

“The cabinet viewed that in order to mitigate the backlog of sample tests, the decision was made to outsource Covid-19 tests,” said a statement issued by chief minister Pema Khandu’s office.

Arunachal has two government-run laboratories at the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Sciences and the Intermediate Reference Laboratory at the directorate of health sciences, which are located at Naharlagun.

The state had collected 6,984 swab samples till Thursday and 5,681 results were received. It still has a backlog of 1,303 samples that are yet to be tested.

Arunachal has reported three Covid-19 positive cases to date. While one patient has recovered, two are still undergoing treatment.

The cabinet decided to procure more personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, test machines, other Covid-19-related equipment and also set up testing facilities at the entry points to the landlocked state, especially for drivers who carry essential goods.

“Reiterating the need to increase the number of healthcare professionals, especially doctors and nurses for core medical field duties, the cabinet approved to engage the retired professionals on a contractual basis,” the statement added.

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