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कांग्रेस पार्टी तीनों किसान विरोधी काले क़ानूनों को ख़त्म करने को वचनबद्ध:रणदीप सिंह सुरजेवालाचंडीगढ़ -खुड्डा अली शेर निशुल्क दवाइयाँ वितरण की गई।कैप्टन साहब जत्थेबंदिया भेज दी, एसवाईएल का पानी भी भेज दे : धनखड़हरियाणा ने पंजाब से लगे सभी बॉर्डर खोले, किसानों के आंदोलन के कारण थे सीलहरियाणा राज्य निर्वाचन आयोग ने नगर परिषद के अध्यक्ष के लिए चुनाव खर्च सीमा 15 लाख रुपये और नगरपालिका के अध्यक्ष के लिए 10 लाख रुपये निर्धारित की पूर्व मुख्यमंत्री और नेता प्रतिपक्ष भूपेंद्र सिंह हुड्डा ने हरियाणावासियों से की अपीलकिसानों को सिंधु बॉर्डर पार करने की मिली इजाजत, साथ मौजूद रहेगी दिल्ली पुलिसकिसानों से CM मनोहर खट्टर की अपील- केंद्र से सीधे बातचीत करें, आंदोलन कोई विकल्प नहीं

Low testing may have led to the surge, says panel

November 22, 2020 05:30 AM


Low testing may have led to the surge, says panel

Saubhadra Chatterji

New Delhi : The parliamentary standing committee of health submitted its report on India’s response to the coronavirus disease pandemic on Saturday, appreciating the role of the 68-day lockdown in slowing the spread of the virus, criticising the initial shortage of equipment and infrastructure, and stressing the importance of being ready for a possible second wave of the infection.

The multi-party committee of Indian Parliament said “poor contact tracing and less testing” might have led to the exponential growth of Covid-19 cases in the country, adding that a multitude of advisories may have led to confusion.

The standing committee on health presented its report—the first from a parliamentary committee on Covid—on a day when the total cases in India touched 9,095,782, with 133,262 deaths, and even as Delhi reels under a fresh surge of infections.

The panel pointed out “few glaring lapses” such as “shortage of emergency supplies, red-tapism, shortage and quality of testing kits, and delay in domestic production” and said India must also be prepared to tackle a possible second wave of Covid—as evident in many European countries—especially in the winter season and “superspreading series of festive-events”.

On November 21, HT wrote about the imminent onset of the second wave.

The committee blamed poor contact tracing and inadequate testing for the exponential growth of cases in the country. HT repeatedly pointed this out in the initial months of the pandemic. It was only in August that India became aggressive with its testing. However, even then, many of the tests were conducted using rapid antigen testing kits, which are unreliable, a fact that didn’t escape the panel’s notice. The committee said it is worried at the use of “less reliable diagnostic tests which increase the chances of false negatives.” Rapid antigen tests sometimes fail to identify 50% of infections. It added that RT-PCR tests remain the gold standard . Panel chairman, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav, virtually presented the report to Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday.

The report said the Covid would have hit India harder if “we had not hit the history books for guidance”.

It termed janta curfew on March 22, the marathon federal lockdown, the phased and gradual reopening, travel restrictions and social distancing measures as “successful” but observed “there have been few glaring lapses like shortage of emergency supplies, red-tapism, shortage and quality of testing kits.”

The report also added that a “plethora of guidelines issued by the ministry” for containment of outbreak “caused ambiguity in interpretation”. “The contradiction in guidelines and the resultant chaos among the general masses could have been averted,” it said.

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