Chandigarh Health Department has finally started testing for GMSH-16 RT-PCR
The UT health department has finally initiated RT-PCR testing at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, after battling three rounds of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The most commonly used test for tracking COVID infection in people with influenza-like symptoms, RT-PCR, identifies the presence of viral RNA. It will be free of charge at GMSH-16.
The health administration originally planned to build an advanced facility for performing RT-PCR testing at GMSH-16 in July of last year, following the devastating second wave in May.
Though it was supposed to be ready by September, it couldn’t be for months due to a lack of necessary equipment. After the department obtained the equipment in February of this year, a team of specialist doctors began performing trials, which were successful, allowing the facility to open in March.
The lab was built at a cost of Rs 35 lakh by the national government as part of the emergency COVID response and health system preparedness programme.
Because the trials were successful, we have now begun collecting samples from the general population, said Dr. Suman Singh, head of health services at UT. For the time being, we are testing 100 samples each day and will progressively increase the capacity to 400 samples per day.
In addition, the health department sends about 1,200 samples every day to the RT-PCR facilities at PGIMER and the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32.
The GMSH-16 also contains a TrueNat machine, which produces findings in three to four hours but is exclusively used for emergency testing. In addition, the city’s government hospitals do Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT), which yield findings in 30 to 45 minutes.
However, at the height of the first and second waves last year, the health department struggled to meet the union health ministry’s daily testing requirements since RT-PCR labs were only accessible at PGIMER and GMCH-32.
Due to the increase in cases, it was even forced to turn to private institutions for testing.
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