Rajasthan offers Covid testing facility to neighbouring states
“In times of this crisis, neighbouring states which are overloaded with patients and short of testing facilities can get tests done in Rajasthan,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said at a meeting to review the pandemic situation in the state.Updated: Jun 16, 2020, 05:53 IST
With Covid-19 cases increasing in neighbouring states, the Rajasthan government has offered testing facilities of up to 5,000 samples daily to neighbouring states.
“In times of this crisis, neighbouring states which are overloaded with patients and short of testing facilities can get tests done in Rajasthan,” Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said at a meeting to review the pandemic situation in the state. Gehlot said States such as Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh could get tests for their patients done in Rajasthan.
“If the government has testing facilities then why don’t they use it for people of Rajasthan first before trying to win cheap popularity by offering it to other states,” he said.
He said if 25,000 tests were actually being carried out, Rajasthan would have been able to control coronavirus till now.
Jitendra Chaudhary, head of the lab technicians association at SMS hospital, said using the CB-NAAT machines and pooled testing technique has helped to ramp up testing capacity in the state. There are 72 CB-NAAT machines being used for Covid testing. ICMR approved these diagnostic machines which are used for testing TB to be used for Covid testing.
Dr Virendra Singh, a member of the CM’s advisory committee on Covid-19 said that Rajasthan has more capacity to test than the samples received and so for a limited time period, testing facility can be extended to other states
He said while the testing capacity is adequate, the government should try to shorten the time lag in testing and providing reports. “Reports should be available to patients within 6-8 hours instead of 2-3 days.”
While the state is increasing testing capacity across districts, it is declining in Jaipur because there is pressure of testing from other neighbouring districts in the Covid-19 testing centres. Of the total samples, 34% are those from other districts such as Tonk, Dausa, Karauli, Alwar and Bharatpur.
Till now, some 1.3 lakh Covid-19 samples have been tested in five centres in Jaipur. Of these, 89,000 tests were of Jaipur and the rest were from other districts.
Currently testing is being carried out in 16 districts in the state though the chief minister and health minister have said that testing facilities will soon be developed in all 33 districts.