Punjab Government Explores various options to end stigma around COVID-19 testing



The Punjab state government are taking new steps to remove the stigma attached to getting tested for Corona Virus. The state today is witnessing a rise in COVID-19 cases and in this tense situation there are people refusing to get tested. To ensure that the process is made easier for the common man, the government has decided to allow free of charge walk-in COVID-19 testing in all government hospitals and vans. Additionally they have also directed that the private hospitals charge but only Rs. 250 for testing. To also make sure that people who wished to be testes immediately are catered for the state has made them an option of opting for a rapid antigen test. The state seeing growing numbers is exploring many options to destigmatise the process and also hasten it in public interest. An idea for rapid antigen tests by pharmacists is being explored as reported by the State Government. This decision comes after Thursday when the Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan was seen stating that the government has undertaken to provide tests and medical kits to various doctors and hospitals, without the hassle of documentation apart from possessing an Aadhar Card. The purpose of all these steps is to ensure that more and more tests are conducted and the treatment can be given at an early stage instead of losing precious time. All the information from these tests will be uploaded on the government’s website regularly, said Mahajan. One can dial the number 104 which is a helpline service to ensure that people can get assistance and information pertaining to the availability of beds district wise and all of them were advised to ensure an adequate supply of oxygen cylinders. She in her statement spoke of the rumours and fake news surrounding the virus and noted that all the elected representatives were to reach out to people and clear out their misconceptions.       

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