Testing rate in U.T. is highest in the country, says Narayanasamy
‘Tests will be scaled up considerably in the coming days’
Offering a divergent take on the assessment made by the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research ( Jipmer) that the Union Territory has the highest number of COVID-19 cases per million in the country, Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy on Friday said detection of COVID-19 cases was more due to the testing rate in the U.T., which is the highest in the country.
“As per norms, we should have conducted around 20,000 tests for our population size. Instead, we have conducted more than 60,000 tests. As of now we are carrying out around 1,000 tests, which will be scaled up considerably in the coming days as we started receiving necessary kits,” the Chief Minister told The
Hindu when asked to comment on the alarming COVID-19 assessment made by Jipmer for Puducherry.
Jipmer Director Rakesh Aggarwal had stated on Thursday that in recent days the COVID disease burden in Puducherry had grown to become the highest in the country on a cases per million basis.
He had also said the current doubling time of 14 days for cases was one of the quickest in the country.
As of August 20, the overall COVID-19 tally in the U.T. was 9,292 cases, with the samples tested aggregating 59,757. Jipmer being an institute of national importance, the Chief Minister said the government expects more “cooperation” from the institute in containing the spread of virus.
Given the space, resource and facilities available with Jipmer, the hospital authorities could considerably increase bed capacity and accommodate more patients. The institute has now set aside around 350 beds for COVID-19 patients, he added.
“I will request the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare to prevail upon the hospital management to work in close coordination with the territorial administration. Given our resource constraints, we need support of an institute with such eminence,” Mr Narayanasamy said.
He also ruled out imposing a complete lockdown in the U.T. “As of now, we will continue with lockdown on Tuesdays. We are not in a sound financial position to implement another round of lockdown,” the Chief Minister added.