Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday sought the immediate enhancement of coronavirus testing capacity at the six central government research institutions in the state and Chandigarh to 2,000 tests a day.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said the step was necessary to overcome the "overstretched and limited testing capacities" in the state, particularly amid the movement of migrants back to their homes.
The institutions are Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), and Institute of Microbial Technology-Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (IMTECH-CSIR) in Chandigarh, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, and National Agricultural Biotechnology Institute in Mohali and the Central University in Bathinda.
The chief minister requested Modi to issue urgent directives to these institutions to scale up their testing capacity to assist the state government in its public health response to COVID-19.
The state government, he said, was making all possible efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic in keeping with the guidelines issued by the Union government, as per an official statement here.
In his letter, Singh said his government had already requested these institutions to provide viral testing capacity of 2,000 tests daily.
Punjab has till date conducted 24,908 COVID-19 tests, of which about 1000 were found positive. Of the total tests, 20,729 were conducted in government medical colleges in Patiala, Amritsar and Faridkot which have a daily testing capacity of about 1,050, while the remaining tests were done by private labs as well as central government labs.