Authorities deny reports of diversion of testing kits from Kashmir to Jammu

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Srinagar: The authorities on Thursday denied reports that consignment of test kits from ICMR meant for Srinagar were diverted to Jammu.
An official spokesperson on Thursday said Dr Samia Rashid, Principal, GMC, Srinagar, who was quoted in the report, has denied giving such statement and said there was no truth in it.

The Principal, Government Medical College, Srinagar, asserted that there was no interruption in testing process because of any shortage of testing kits and that there were presently two testing centres in the valley at GMC Srinagar and SKIMS, Soura.

She said that the third testing centre is being established at Jhelum Valley Medical College, Bemina, shortly.

The doctors at SKIMS have also confirmed that they are not facing any shortage of test kits and have ramped up the number to 1000 tests per day.

The spokesperson said that Dr Jitender Mehta, Divisional Officer, NHM has been actively involved in COVID mitigation and management and that he had arranged an engineer from Delhi for COVID testing Labs. ”The engineer was initially called for two days but with the persuasion of Dr Jitender Mehta, he stayed in Srinagar for 5 days and calibrated 10 PCR machines with which the testing capacity has increased from around 200 to more than 800 tests per day. It was also made clear that Dr Jitender Mehta had no role in the procurement process.”

Speaking about the sample collection across the Kashmir, Dr Samir Mattoo, Director Health Services, Kashmir, said that the department has been carrying out sample collection across the valley aggressively at designated sample collection centers. He also denied reports that sample collection had been affected due to shortage of testing kits.