Forbidden to Conduct COVID Tests by ‘Above’: Lucknow’s Pvt Labs

The reports comes at a time when CM Adityanath has instructed officials to perform 1.5 lakh RT-PCR tests daily.

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India
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COVID-19 cases in Lucknow have increased by 489 precent. From 1 April the cases have risen from 935 to 5,511, as of 18 April. However, amid the surge in cases, complaints have now surfaced of COVID-19 testing being stopped at multiple private labs.

The Quint spoke to eight branches of SRL and Lal Path Lab in Lucknow to investigate the claims of testing not being done. The private labs in response have not denied the claims and stated that they have received orders from the top brass to not conduct any tests.

Apart from private labs denying to take COVID-19 tests, multiple complaints have surfaced of a delay in their test reports.

The complains arise at a time when UP CM Yogi Adityanath has stated that there should be no delay in test reports for COVID patients and has instructed the state health ministry to perform 1.5 lakh RT-PCR tests everyday.

‘Useless Question’: Lucknow CMO on Reduced COVID Testing

The Quint approached Lucknow’s Chief Medical Officer, who stated that private labs have contributed to 35 percent of COVID-19 tests done in the city for several months, and labelled the question regarding private labs being closed for testing as “useless”.

Meanwhile, Lucknow’s Additional Chief Medical Officer Dr MK Singh stated that a meeting was held with private labs on 17 April, and that multiple staff members of many labs have tested positive, thus the capacity to test has reduced. He also said that the private labs in Lucknow have not been forbidden from carrying out tests in any way.

Singh further stated that in the meeting held on 17 April, it was decided that samples collected from the government setup will also be sent to the private lab from 19 April. Rs 500 per test will be provided as a fee to private labs.

In view of the surge in cases in Lucknow, Dr GS Bajpayee, Additional Director Lucknow has been given the charge of managing the district. On 18 April, Uttar Pradesh reported 30, 596 fresh cases of COVID-19, out of which 5,511 cases were reported in Lucknow.

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