·  2365 rapid antigen tests conducted, 197 found positive and 2168 tested negative


Chandigarh, July 20 (Punjab Mail)- On the directive of Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Rapid Antigen testing has initiated in District Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Ludhiana and SAS Nagar.

            Disclosing this here today, the Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that total of 2365 rapid antigen tests have been conducted in these districts so far, out of which 197 found positive and 2168 tested negative. He said that three more districts namely Kapurthala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ropar have been instructed to commence this exercise to expedite the testing process.

            Giving further details, the Minister said that the Punjab government has started the Rapid Antigen Testing for early detection and management of COVID-19 infections. He said that rapid antigen test kits is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2. It has been developed by SD Biosensor and provides test results within 30 minutes. He said that those who are found to be positive by Antigen Test will be taken as confirmed positive while those who tested negative in the antigen test will be re-tested by CB NAAT/TrueNat/RT PCR.

             Divulging about sample collection, Mr. Sidhu said that Nasopharyngeal swabs will be collected by the trained doctors or paramedic using PPE in the hospital setting or in the community. He said that besides Antigen testing of categories such as SARI patients,  Symptomatic and high-risk contacts of COVID-19 positive patients and Symptomatic individuals found in the house-to-house screening in containment areas, asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact especially in containment /Micro- containment zones. High-risk contacts with co-morbidities lung disease, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, blood disorders.  Asymptomatic patients who are hospitalised or seeking hospitalization in the following high-risk groups- Patients undergoing chemotherapy etc. Instructions have already been issued to all Civil Surgeons in this regard.

            The Minister clarified that in case of elective/emergency surgical procedures like neurosurgery, ENT Surgery, Dental procedures, Non-surgical interventions like bronchoscopy, Upper Gl endoscopy and dialysis, TrueNAAT /CB-NAAT machines should be preferred for COVID-19 tests.