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A rapid boost in testing times

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The Delhi government commenced Covid-19 testing through rapid antigen methodology at 169 centres in and around containment zones of the city on Thursday.

People living in containment zones of Delhi queued up in huge numbers for taking the antigen test that makes results available within 30 minutes. Each testing kit costs Rs 450.

Susan, who took the test at one of the centres in West Vinod Nagar, East Delhi, along with her two kids, said, “Tests conducted at private labs are very expensive. And the government testing centres take a lot of time to provide the results. Now, with the help of rapid antigen tests, we will be able to find out whether we are infected, and act accordingly at the earliest.” Her husband had tested positive.

PER DAY TARGET

Amit, a resident of Ghaziabad, said, “I am waiting for my father’s test result, he is an elderly person and he has been coughing a lot these days. We’re worried.” Amit said he was grateful to the Delhi authorities for examining his father. Rajiv Kumar (SDM), Preet Vihar, was seen supervising the rapid antigen tests at a local centre.

He said, “Our aim is to conduct at least 500 tests in a single day. This way we can isolate positive cases faster and contain the spread in a better manner.”

Sudesh Mechra, a resident of Ratnakar Apartment, which falls in a containment zone in Dwarka Sector 4, said, “My housing complex has been sealed for almost for 28 days now… If anyone is found positive, his/her housing complex will be sealed. So, most of the people are not taking the test.”

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Two important things happened today (on Thursday). Covid-19 testing rates in Delhi have been reduced to Rs 2,400, and rapid-antigen testing has started. I hope people won’t face any problem in getting themselves tested now.”

Officials said 4,500 rapid antigen tests were conducted in Delhi till 3 pm.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said a certificate will be issued to those tested at various centres, subject to clearance from All India Institute Of Medical Sciences, and Indian Council of Medical Research. The Home Ministry said on Monday that testing will be tripled by Saturday.

HC SLAMS AAP GOVT

The Delhi High Court observed on Thursday that the AAP government has not been using testing facilities of private labs to their optimum capacity. A bench of Justices Hima Kohli, Subramonium Prasad arrived at the conclusion after comparing testing data on Delhi government’s website and the figures given in its affidavit placed before the court.

In the affidavit, the Delhi government has said that with inclusion of one more public lab and two more private labs the testing capacity has spiked to 10,700 per day. However, the website data said that not over 7,000 tests are done per day. With regard to the several suggestions given by the private labs and the difficulties being faced by them, the high court has asked an expert committee, set up by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to advise DDMA to examine the issues raised and resolve them.

-Agency inputs

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