NAINITAL: The Uttarakhand government has sought permission from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Government of India to set up two more coronavirus test labs in the state, informed chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Monday.
CM Rawat and state’s chief secretary Utpal Singh were on a visit to Kumaon region to take stock of the situation after Nainital reported almost 90 Covid-19 positive cases in just two days.
Speaking to media persons after holding a meeting with local officials, CM Rawat said that the state is planning to start a Covid-19 test facility in Almora to increase the testing capacity of the disease in the state while adding that the test lab at Indian Institute of Petroleum will become functional by the end of the month. “As coronavirus cases are on a rise, we are planning to ramp up its testing and therefore, we have sought permission from the Centre and the ICMR to start a testing facility in Almora. We also expect the lab at the IIP Dehradun to become functional by the end of the month,” he said.
At present, the state has three testing labs — Dr Susheela Tiwari Hospital (STH) in Haldwani, Doon Hospital in Dehradun, and AIIMS Rishikesh. CM Rawat argued that the testing facility at Almora will ease the burden on STH, Kumaon’s only testing facility.
When asked about the high court’s order to first establish quarantine centre at the border and then, test symptomatic people after a week, CM Rawat said that the government is doing whatever is possible and the court will also be informed about it.
CM Rawat added that the state is equipped to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and the surge in the cases will be controlled as most of the patients are migrant workers coming from other states. “The state is well equipped to tackle the pandemic. Till now, the spread among the local population has been minimal and the surge will soon be controlled,” he added.