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Coronavirus | Punjab to launch pilot project for rapid antigen testing

With positivity rate of just 2%, Punjab is already conducting 242 tests per million per day as part of its comprehensive strategy to check further spread of the pandemic

With positivity rate of just 2%, Punjab is already conducting 242 tests per million per day as part of its comprehensive strategy to check further spread of the pandemic   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

Punjab government on Friday gave the go-ahead for launching a pilot project for COVID-19 rapid antigen testing from the coming week, as well as e-registration for persons entering the State through Shambhu border in Patiala, to ensure strict monitoring of people coming from the high-risk national capital region.

On successful completion of the pilot rapid antigen project, which will cover a minimum of 1,000 tests, it would be done on the migrants coming back to the State in the wake of reopening of industries and for work in the paddy fields. The State government will procure rapid antigen testing kits to scale up its COVID testing capacity, which is even now higher than the Union government’s mandate of 140 tests per million per day in regions with positivity factor of less than 10%, an official statement said. “With positivity rate of just 2%, Punjab is already conducting 242 tests per million per day as part of its comprehensive strategy to check further spread of the pandemic,” it added.

Notwithstanding the Centre’s revised guidelines replacing home quarantine for domestic travellers with self-monitoring, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ruled out any such move in Punjab in view of the large number of people coming to the State every day from Delhi, where cases were currently spiralling.

The Chief Minister also made it clear that no vehicle should be allowed to enter Punjab without a stringent monitoring mechanism in place. He was reviewing the COVID situation and preparedness in the State with senior government and health officials through a video conference.

Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, said strict monitoring would be ensured of all entrants, with private players being roped in to ensure implementation of home quarantine with phone-based monitoring and regular visits.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 8:46:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-punjab-to-launch-pilot-project-for-rapid-antigen-testing/article31984867.ece

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