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Coronavirus | U.P. government dismisses rumours on COVID-19 testing

People queue up to get themselves tested for the coronavirus infection at a testing centre in Allahabad. File   | Photo Credit: AFP

Amid claims by patients and their kin, especially on social media, that private hospitals and laboratories were avoiding testing people for COVID-19, the Uttar Pradesh government on Saturday dismissed the reports as rumours.

“False rumours are being spread that private laboratories are not testing [samples for COVID-19]," Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary-Information, said.

Out of the 94,000 samples tested through the RT-PCR test on Saturday, 19,000 were tested in private laboratories, Mr. Sehgal said at an official daily briefing for COVID-19.

The State Health Department later in the evening said over 2.15 lakh samples had been tested in the State over the past 24 hours.

The State recorded 27,357 new cases and 120 new deaths over the past 24 hours, including 5,913 new cases and 36 deaths in Lucknow alone, according to the Health Department’s figures.

While government officials have maintained that there was no shortage of oxygen cylinders in the State, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday directed them to take immediate steps to set up 10 new oxygen plants in the State to “make the supply of oxygen better”, said the Chief Minister’s Office in a statement. The sites should be identified soon and action taken on “war-footing”, the CM told officials.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation had presented a proposal that they would start producing medical oxygen through atmospheric oxygen at these plants within 15 days, Mr. Sehgal said.

Mr. Adityanath also directed officials to increase the number of beds in COVID-19 hospitals in all districts. Every hospital should maintain oxygen backup of a minimum of 36 hours, he said.

The testing capacity of private laboratories should be increased, the CM directed the District Magistrates, also asking them to assist the laboratories from the law and order point of view as they might face problems due to an increased number of patients, said Mr. Sehgal.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 12:16:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-govt-dismisses-rumours-on-covid-19-testing/article34346242.ece

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