Only 8% of total 13870 samples taken in nine mountainous districts of U’khand even as these districts account for 75% of returning migrants
Despite huge increase in number of returning migrants, the collection of samples for testing of Covid -19 is yet to pick up in mountainous districts of Uttarakhand. In the nine mountainous districts of Uttarakhand ( Pauri, Tehri, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Pithoragarh, Champawat, Almora and Bageshwar) the state health department has so far taken only 1153 samples for test of Covid-19. The department has taken 13870 samples so far from all the 13 districts of the state which means that only 8.31 percent of the samples are being taken from the nine districts of the state. In these districts five patients have so far been tested positive for the disease and all of them are those who have returned from outside the state. Incidentally, in last 14-15 days the number of the migrants returning to these nine mountainous districts is much more than the plain districts of Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar, Dehradun and Nainital. As per the data of state government, a total of 75083 migrants have so far returned to the nine mountainous districts which constitute about 75 percent of the total returning migrants into the state. The data of the health department shows that in last nine days, 29 new patients have surfaced in the state and all of them were the migrants or their contacts. Due to better rate of sample collection most of these patients were reported from the plain districts where much less migrants have returned as compared to mountainous districts. Health experts express concern that pathetic rate of testing in mountainous districts can be very dangerous considering the poor health services in these districts.
Social activist and health expert, Anoop Nautiyal said that in view of large numbers of returning migrants, the sample testing should be taken on a war footing. Giving the example of neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, he said, “Uttarakhand with a population of 1 Crore has done 13212 tests and Himachal Pradesh with a population of 69 Lakh has done 17417 tests. Tripura which has only 37 per cent of population of Uttarakhand has done 4 per cent more tests than it. Jammu and Kashmir with a population of 1.22 Crore has done 80934 tests which is 600 per cent more than us.’’
|SN||District||Samples taken (2 pm, May 18)||Migrants (till May 17)||Positive Cases|
In Uttarakhand the samples for Covid-19 are tested at Government Medical College Haldwani, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Rishikesh, Government Doon Medical College (GDMC), Dehradun and Government Medical College, Srinagar. A private laboratory (Ahuja Lab) in Dehradun has also been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct tests.
The Additional secretary, health and family welfare department, Yugal Kishore Pant had recently claimed that the pool testing technique would be adopted for increasing the capacity of the sample testing. However tests based on this technique have not started yet in the labs of the state.
Tuesday, 19 May 2020 | PNS | Dehradun
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