Even though the Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh has been declared Corona-free, the district administration is taking no chances regarding the deadly virus. The Bareilly health department has deployed a mobile medical unit in crowded localities of the city to collect "pool" samples for random COVID-19 testing of vegetable and fruit vendors, hawkers, chemists, etc.
In Bareilly, six members of a family had tested positive for Corona but they have recovered after treatment and have been discharged from hospital, leaving the district with no active Corona case as of now.
However, the neighbouring Badayun district still has 13 Corona positive cases who are presently in hospital.
Chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Vineet Shukla said, "The mobile medical unit will be stationed in crowded areas of the city. We will collect nasal and throat swab samples from fruit and vegetable vendors, hawkers, chemists and grocery store owners on a voluntary basis. These people are exempted from lockdown norms as they provide essential services, and thus interact with the maximum number of people. The aim is to check if they have come in contact with any Corona positive patient."
District surveillance officer Dr Ranjan Gautam said, "The mobile medical unit visited Mandi Samiti and railway hospital on Wednesday, and collected seven samples whose reports are awaited. Already, around 30-40 of the vendors and chemists who have been given lockdown passes, have approached the district medical team for their samples to be collected and tested."
Meanwhile, reports of 31 suspects tested on Tuesday arrived on Wednesday and all of them turned negative."
According to officials, the mobile medical unit will collect pool samples. One pool contains at least 10 samples.
If a pool tests negative for COVID-19, it means all 10 people whose samples were in the pool are Corona negative. However, if a pool is found positive, all 10 persons have to undergo individual tests for COVID-19.
The health department on Wednesday had also collected 22 pool samples from journalists working in the area, and 45 individual samples from suspects. All of these will be sent to the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) for testing on Thursday.
Officials said 47 teams had conducted door-to-door survey in the buffer zone around the house of the family of six that tested positive and screened 3,440 houses on Wednesday.