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The Uttarakhand government has decided to use helicopters to carry COVID-19 samples to testing laboratories if roads are blocked due to landslides.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat in a recent meeting with Health Department and Disaster Management directed officials that there should not be any delay in carrying samples to testing laboratories.
The helicopters will be provided once the district magistrate confirms it. In such situations, helicopters will fly from Dehradun to pick up the samples. Uttarakhand has recorded 16,014 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday and 213 deaths. The state is collecting more than 8,000 samples per day at present, and aiming to increase the testing rate, the government has set a target of testing 10,000 samples per day soon.
In order to increase the testing rate, it is essential that samples are delivered to laboratories on time and the backlog is cleared. As per data of the Health Department, 8,809 samples were sent for testing on Tuesday and the results of 14058 samples were awaited.
An official said that helicopters can reach any remote area of the hill state in an hour and samples will be delivered to testing labs the same day. It is common for roads to get blocked in hilly terrains during the monsoons. Some of the worst affected districts are Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Pauri, Uttarkashi, Chamoli, Tehri, Nainital, Champawat, Almora and Bageshwar.
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