Uttar Pradesh: 15-day focus testing campaign starts to stem Covid-19 spread

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The state health department launched a 15-day Covid-19 focus testing campaign on Wednesday during which samples of people who are at high risk of getting infected will be collected to stem further spread of the virus. The drive has started at a time when the number of Covid cases have significantly decreased in the state, said officials.

People who will be part of the campaign include employees of hotels and restaurants, street vendors, rickshaw pullers and cab drivers.

Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said the step was taken to ensure that the Covid situation in the state improved and there was no fresh surge of cases. He added that even though the infection has reduced, the threat was not yet over and the guard should not be lowered.

“In order to keep the infection in check, we are doing focus testing from time to time. At present, the infection is very low, but to prohibit any respread, we are starting a 15-day focus testing campaign from Wednesday. Today, we did sampling in hotels and restaurants. On Thursday, samples will be collected from street vendors and on the next day, from rickshaw pullers and cab drivers,” said Prasad.

Officials said samples will be taken from employees at government and private bus stands on Saturday, sweet shop employees on Sunday, inmates of old-age homes, orphanages and women shelters on Monday. On February 16, samples will be collected from prisoners; from government and private offices on February 17; while from urban slums in the next three days.

At present, the state has 3,256 active cases, out of which 837 are in home isolation and 322 are in private hospitals. At least 5,89,771 people have recovered till date, pushing the recovery percentage over 98 per cent for the first time. The Covid-19 toll in the state is 8,696 people till date.

As many as 166 new cases of infection were reported since Tuesday from 42 districts, while the remaining 33 districts did not record any new positive case. In Kasganj, not even a single active case has been reported.

Talking to the media earlier in the day, Prasad confirmed that vaccination for state frontline workers will be conducted on Thursday at nearly 2,000 centres. More than 2 lakh frontline workers, which include police personnel, jail personnel, home guards, sanitation workers of urban bodies, revenue personnel engaged in the work of civil defence and surveillance, among others, will be given the first dose of vaccine on Thursday.

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