Ghaziabad: Testing increases since July 21 when home isolation facility allowedUpdated: Aug 02, 2020 23:39 IST
Ghaziabad: There has been a big surge in number of tests for Covid-19 since July 21 when the Uttar Pradesh government directed for initiation of home isolation facility to asymptomatic patients. According to the official figures, the period of July 21-31 witnessed about 30% rise in the testing as compared to that of the previous 10-day period.
The district administration has attributed the rise in testing since July 21 to home isolation facility granted to patients and increasing awareness among the masses.
According to the figures of the district health department, about 32,120 tests were conducted between July 21 and July 31, while a total of 24,553 tests were conducted during the previous 10-day period from July 11 to July 20. Also, about 27,000 tests were done from July 1 to July 10.
Notably, during the period of July 2-12, the UP government had directed for a special surveillance drive across the district to trace patients with co-morbidity and also those having symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI). During the drive, special teams were deployed for door-to-door surveys and to figure out the suspected cases, which were later tested.
“The rise in testing activities after home isolation was allowed is an encouraging sign. Now, more people are coming in to get themselves tested. It (home isolation) is one of the major factors which have led more people to come for testing. Now, the testing centres are providing walk-in facility where anyone can come for testing. Further, there has been more awareness among the public, and their faith in the administration has got strengthened,” said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.
The Ghaziabad district has static testing booths in Vaishali, Indirapuram, MMG Hospital and Women Hospital. Besides, testing centres have been set up at IMS college Dasna, four community health centres and one primary health centre at Bhojpur.
The administration has started distributing “testing slips” among the residents. Such a slip, a copy of which is with the health department, carries the details of the resident.
“Our survey teams are now distributing testing slips to households. Residents having the slips can go to the nearest centre for testing. We are also monitoring the distributed slips to know whether the residents availed testing or not. We have enough rapid antigen kits, which have a major share in overall testing. Since the kit provides result within 30-40 minutes, people are availing the testing facility,” Pandey added.
Till July 31, the Ghaziabad district conducted 105,099 tests, of which 61,258 tests were done through rapid antigen kits.
“Initially, the residents were reluctant to come for testing as they knew they would be taken to a Covid hospital if found positive. Now, they know that they have an option to stay at home. So, more people are coming in for testing. For instance, we now have about 40-50 walk-ins per day at our booth in Vaishali, where earlier only 15-20 arrived in a day. Similarly, the number at our booth in Indirapuram has also increased to about 70-80 as against 35-40 per day,” said an officer from the health department who wished not to be named.
“About a fortnight ago, we introduced three mobile testing vans. So these vans have also helped increase testing,” the officer said.
According to the officials, the district at present has 188 asymptomatic patients who have qualified for the home isolation facility.
Residents’ bodies have also echoed the similar views. “The residents have got encouraged for testing as they know they have an option to stay at home. It has come as a major relief for middle and high income group residents and has also reduced the burden on government facilities,” said Colonel (retired) TP Tyagi, president of flat owners’ association.
Under the home isolation facility, the UP government allowed asymptomatic patients to stay at home with certain conditions. Prior to the facility, every positive case was getting admitted to an appropriate Covid hospital.