Puducherry records second highest testing rate in country

April 22, 2020 11:26 pm | Updated April 23, 2020 04:22 am IST - Puducherry

Municipal officials imposing spot fine on people for not adhering to social distancing and for not wearing masks at the Regulated Market Committee in Puducherry on Wednesday.

Municipal officials imposing spot fine on people for not adhering to social distancing and for not wearing masks at the Regulated Market Committee in Puducherry on Wednesday.

Puducherry, which has kept its tally of active COVID-19 cases to three since the first case was reported in Mahe over three weeks ago, has the country’s second highest testing rate under the conservative criteria prescribed by the Union Health Ministry and ICMR.

With 102 RT-PCR tests per lakh of population the Union Territory is second only to Delhi with a ratio of 120 tests per lakh of population, S. Mohankumar, Director of Health, said.

Jipmer, which has been designated a COVID-19 hospital by the Union Health Ministry, has conducted 1,528 RT-PCR tests since January 27, which includes 1,319 tests from Puducherry and the rest from Tamil Nadu.

Of this, the results of about 40 samples from Puducherry are awaited.

"We are now keeping a close watch on the containment zones," Dr. Mohankumar said.

So far, five places in the city have been designated containment zones - Ariyankuppam, Reddiarpalayam, Thiruvandarkoil, Mudaliarpet and Kottakuppam.

The repeat testing for COVID-19 patients at the IGMCRI was coming up for one patient on Thursday and two others on Friday and the results were expected by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, Puducherry has deferred deployment of rapid testing on the advice of the Government of India following widespread reports about false values. The Centre has provided 3,800 rapid test kits for Puducherry.

Earlier, Health Minister Malladi Krishna Rao said in a press conference that there was no shortage of ventilators across hospitals, including Jipmer. As of now, 27 ventilators out of a capacity of 78 machines were set apart for potential COVID-19 patients.

The door-to-door visits undertaken by health worker teams had reached out to 2.51 lakh families (a population of about 9.54 lakh). The entire population would be covered in a day or two, the Minister said.

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