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Wednesday Apr 01 2020
Web Desk

Why do Punjab’s COVID-19 testing numbers vary?

Web Desk

There is huge inconsistency between the number of coronavirus tests Punjab states it has conducted, and the number being recorded by the federal ministry of health.

On March 28, Punjab’s chief minister tweeted that the province had tested over 13,000 people for COVID-19. The data included both private and public laboratories.

But according to Islamabad’s ministry of national health services, regulations and coordination, which uploads a daily situation report of the number of the infected across Pakistan, Punjab cumulative tests in the last two week is 2,720.

Read more: Coronavirus in Pakistan: Punjab follows Sindh's lockdown strategy

Dr Muhammad Salman, chief of the public health laboratory division of the National Health Institute in Islamabad, told that the discrepancy is because the federal dashboard only tracks the data from one state lab in the province.

An endnote on the ministry’s website also clearly states that the 2,720 figure “pertains to the provincial reference lab only. It does not include data from other labs.”

To date, Punjab has recorded 708 cases of the virus.