Mask mandate back in Punjab, govt works to ramp up testing
According to the medical bulletin released by Punjab government, 10,018 samples were collected for tests on Thursday. It said, 9,930 tests were conducted, out of which 23 samples returned positive, putting the positivity rate at 0.23 per cent.
The Punjab government Thursday advised people to wear face masks at crowded places amid a surge in Covid-19 cases in some of the states.
According to the advisory issued by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice, wearing of masks should be ensured in closed environments such as in buses, trains, aircraft, cinema halls, shopping malls, departmental stores, offices, classrooms and indoor gatherings.
Earlier, the Haryana government had made the wearing of a face mask mandatory in four districts falling in the National Capital region. In Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana, the administration had advised people to wear face masks at crowded places.
Meanwhile, considering the slight uptick in positive cases, the state health department has also directed the civil surgeons to ramp up the testing to 20,000 a day.
According to the medical bulletin released by Punjab government, 10,018 samples were collected for tests on Thursday. It said, 9,930 tests were conducted, out of which 23 samples returned positive, putting the positivity rate at 0.23 per cent. The positive cases, saw a dip from 30 reported Wednesday.
The Thursday’s figure took the total cases detected in the month of April to 262 patients. Two deaths have been reported till date. Of the 23 new cases, four each were reported from Amritsar and Ludhiana, three each from Pathankot and Mohali , two from Fatehgarh Sahib, and one each from Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Hoshiarpur , Faridkot, Kapurthala , Muktsar and SBS Nagar districts.
The state had collected 9,812 samples on April 20, of which 9,577 were tested with 30 returning positive. On April 19, a total of 8,516 samples were collected and 6,324 were tested, out of which 21 were positive. On April 18, only 4,452 samples were taken while 6,414 (including pending samples of previous day) were tested out of which 29 returned positive.
“We have started increasing the sampling gradually, aim to do 20,000 tests per day soon. We are well prepared to handle any surge,” said a health official.
It may be mentioned that on April 1, state had conducted 11,614 tests. After that sampling had started reducing gradually, before registering an upswing from April 17 onwards.
“We are doing this (more sampling) looking at a slight surge in Covid cases in some parts of India. We are reviewing day to day situation,” said Dr GB Singh, director, health services.
Meanwhile, the flu corners established during the first wave of Covid have been closed for now and sampling is being done at district hospitals or if the patient walks in at the health centres. Only RT-PCR tests are being done at the health centres. Information revealed that some select flu centres are likely to be opened by the end of this month.