Express News Service
CHANDIGARH: Even as COVID infections are on the rise in poll-bound Punjab, daily testing is nowhere near the minimum 40,000 mark set up by the state government despite several notices asking field workers to achieve the target.
The Election Commission is likely to announce the Assembly election schedule for five states soon while there have been demands from various quarters to postpone the polls.
What makes the Punjab’s situation alarming is that the Centre had advised the state to conduct at least 50,000 tests daily. Incidentally, the highest daily testing was recorded at 82,000 in Punjab during the second wave of the COVID pandemic in the country.
A look at the first half of December shows that the number of tests ranged between a minimum of 17,776 on December 7 to maximum of 31,370 on December 3. The figures dived to yo-yo between 7,000 and slightly above 27,500 in the second half. The most dismal performance was logged on December 27 with only 7,225 tests.
Meanwhile, there have been 221, 167 and 100 fresh cases on Friday, Thursday, Wednesday. In fact, the Wednesday figure was the first time that fresh cases touched the 100-mark in ten weeks. Positivity rate is also up correspondingly at 1.42, 1.10 and 0.62 per cent. On the vaccination front, 89,127; 81,755 and 62,197 people were vaccinated in the same period.
In a recent meeting, health officials apprised Deputy CM-cum-Health Minister OP Soni that the positivity rate hovered at 0.3 per cent and had slightly gone up in the past few days. Principal Secretary (Health) Raj Kamal Chaudhary said the government has approached 12,05,069 households under the Ghar Ghar Dastak campaign. As many as 84 per cent people got the first dose, he said.