13 Jan 2022  |   07:47am IST

Goenkars face double whammy in Covid times

Delayed Covid test results from govt centres and overcharging by pvt sector increase agony
Goenkars face double whammy in Covid times

Team Herald

PANJIM: Even as Goa grapples with the third wave Pandemic, the people of Goa are faced with a double whammy of delay in Covid test reports from government-run diagnosis centres and non-adherence to capped prices for testing by few private centres.

In some cases, people have had to wait for four-five days to get their results. There have also been a few cases where people who went for testing, did not even receive the SMS that informs them about their Covid status.

Due to this uncertainty caused by delay in releasing the reports from government centres, a large section of the public has opted for testing at private centres and hospitals. However, there have been complaints over some of these centres not following the recent government decision of capping the rates for Covid tests.

“This is a double whammy for the common man. In such times “We can’t wait for so many days to know our status. However, the government should also ensure that private centres adhere to the capped prices for testing. But this is not being done,” Oswald Pacheco, a businessman from Benaulim, said. 

There were some other aggrieved persons who had similar complaints and showed receipts of these private centres to back their claims.

Others said the government should intervene immediately and look into private centres charging beyond the capped prices as these are the days where the Covid infection is rising and big crowds are visiting centres for testing on a daily basis.

“My relative went to the South Goa District Hospital Centre in South Goa and he is yet to get any intimation about his test results. We were told we would get the sms in three days, which by itself is late. There is no update on the website either. We had to do a test at a private centre later to find out his status” said Purshottam Naique, an IT professional from Margao.

This has been the case with several people who visited SGDH but didn’t receive any intimation about their results.

While government officials at the testing centres said they are trying their best to generate the results at the earliest, they attributed the possible delay to the increase in number of people coming for testing. They added that they are doing contact tracing of those who are testing positive.

There was a similar issue at a testing centre in North Goa where a person got his rapid antigen result soon, which was negative, but got his RTPCR result three days later, which was positive.

“This creates a false sense of safety. We should be receiving these results in 24 hours if not earlier. Why such a big disparity amongst private and government centres? If one has to wait for so long till you get the results, your condition can deteriorate if you are positive. This affects the entire family and not one person alone,” said Geraldine Rodrigues, a homemaker from Old Goa.

It may be recalled that there were similar complaints during the second wave where people were receiving their results after a long delay. At that time, the Directorate of Health Services (DHS) officials had claimed that measures were put in place to ensure that test results are given to the person within 24 to 48 hours maximum.