Punjab CM gives go-ahead to pilot project for rapid antigen testing from next week

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Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday gave the go-ahead for launching a pilot project for Covid-19 rapid antigen testing from the coming week. Also, he allowed the e-registration for persons entering the state through the Shambhu border, to ensure strict monitoring of the thousands of people coming from the high-risk NCR region every day.

 The state government will procure rapid antigen testing kits to scale up its COVID testing capacity, which is even now higher than the Government of India’s mandate of 140 tests per million per day in regions with a positivity factor of less than 10 percent. With a positivity rate of just 2 percent, Punjab is already conducting 242 tests/million/day as part of its comprehensive strategy to check further spread of the pandemic.

The Chief Minister ruled out any such move in Punjab as a large number of people are coming to the state every day from Delhi/NCR, 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.

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He was reviewing the COVID situation and preparedness in the state with senior government and health officials through a Video Conference meeting. Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan assured the Chief Minister that 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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Further, all entrants to the state would be required to mandatorily register themselves either on the COVA app or the government web portal, and the registration certificate, with bar code, should be carried on the vehicle windscreen.