Experts from Johns Hopkins University, USA, New Delhi and PGI Chandigarh to discuss approaches to strengthen testing strategy for Punjab

Chandigarh: In pursuance to directions of the Chief Minister to have a proper strategy for testing for COVID-19, in order to ensure early detection as well as curtailment of spread, the Health Sector Response and Procurement Committee, Punjab (HSRPC) today held a meeting over VC with experts from Johns Hopkins University, USA, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi and PGI Chandigarh to discuss approaches to strengthen testing strategy for Punjab.

Ms. Vini Mahajan, Chairperson HSRPC informed that these experts have years of experience and knowledge behind them. While the State Government is focused to increase its testing capacity and numbers, it is mindful of taking an approach to testing that shall be most effective in containing the infection and preventing its spread any further. The State is also preparing for the post lockdown period and is therefore making efforts to design testing strategies for during and post mobility restrictions when the social engagements rise.

Prof Devesh Kapur, Asia Programs Director, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Amita Gupta, Deputy Director, Johns Hopkins University Center for Clinical Global Health Education; and Ms. Yamini Aiyar, President Centre for Policy Research and Member Punjab State Advisory Council were some of the participants on the call. The team also included other public health experts, economists and statisticians. From the Government of Punjab, the participation included Members of the HSRPC Dr K K Talwar, Dr Raj Bahadur, and others as well as Medical experts and advisors to the Government of Punjab.

Ms. Mahajan said that the discussion was extremely productive and the team, led by Ms. Yamini Aiyar, shall be preparing a testing strategy for Punjab for the coming weeks. The approach is being crafted taking the State’s strengths, challenges and constraints into account such that it is feasible and implementable on the ground. Johns Hopkins University experts and PGI experts will guide and help in finalizing the strategy for the state.

The State Government is grateful for the support being extended by these organizations and experts and is hopeful that this strategy shall further support the Government to manage and contain the pandemic efficiently and effectively.