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End dependence on Kashmir
5/29/2020 12:04:29 AM

Jammu region lagging behind Kashmir vis-à-vis COVID-19 testing has raised many questions. Is it that Kashmir has been provided more resources and equipment? Or the people handling the testing process at GMC Jammu and other COVID-designated testing labs have been unable to do justice with the resources?
According to media reports the Jammu and Kashmir administration has provided enough funds to GMC Jammu to increase the testing capacity but things have not worked on expected lines. There are reports that samples are being sent to Srinagar for testing to decrease the pendency rate at GMC Jammu.
With the influx of more and more people into Jammu during the past few days number of COVID-19 positive cases have increased. This number is likely to go up as the government has asked the people to learn to live with the virus. As the lockdown is being relaxed more and more people have started moving from one place to another. It means that number of COVID samples are all set to increase.
In Kashmir three government hospitals are performing over 2000 tests for COVID-19 per day, while as in Jammu only one government run hospital is performing these tests. The administration will have to look for a way out to balance the things between Jammu and Kashmir regions. This imbalance can make the people of Jammu suffer as they will have to wait for their reports for longer periods.
Jammu needs better testing facilities and even if there are lacunas, within the system, these need to be looked into and addressed. The administration is duty bound to check whether the funds which have been provided to fight the COVID-19 crisis have been utilized properly or not. There are reports about the lack of manpower at GMC Jammu. If it’s so then the trained technicians should be moved to the testing laboratory without any delay. This can help in enhancing the testing rate. The administration can also engage private laboratories for testing the samples there are so many ways and means to become self-reliant.
Sending samples to Srinagar is a time-consuming practice and it needs to end. The government should provide equal resources to Jammu to bring it at par with Kashmir. There is no reason for Jammu to lag behind vis-à-vis testing. Delay in test reports adds to the anxiety of the people and builds pressure on the administration. This needs to end.
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