As random sampling progresses in Panchkula, at least two positive cases of the coronavirus have been reported in two days.
The Panchkula health department, taking a lead in containing cases, has tested more than 1,000 samples picked at random. The sampling is being conducted in slum clusters adjoining the border areas and among police officers.
While the border areas were sampled with inputs from ASHA workers, random samples from police officers and their regular screenings have been ongoing since mid-April, says CMO Dr Jasjeet Kaur. “Strategic sampling representative of all segments has been conducted by our department for quite some time,” she added.
Even though Panchkula has the lowest positivity rate in Tricity, at 0.7 per cent, it has been screening and taking random samples aggressively. The process began only a few weeks into the pandemic. Meanwhile, the national average stands at 3.9 per cent.
Though earlier the district relied on PGI for getting samples tested, since the opening of its own lab, Panchkula has been independently testing at least 50-80 random samples each day. The district’s decision to completely seal containment zones has further ensured that cases do not intermix and increase in the city.
Meanwhile, at least 18 immediate contacts of the 44-year-old shop owner of Mohan Sweets from Rajiv colony, who tested positive on Friday, have been traced along with 48 people who lived in the vicinity of his shop. The man tested positive after his sample was taken at random.
The owner, along with his family has been quarantined and sampled at the civil hospital, Sector 6.
Intermixing between Rajiv colony and Mauli Jagran
Rajiv Colony spread in an area of half square kilometre has a population of approximately 14,000. The slum falls on the Panchkula Chandigarh border. It is divided from Mauli Jagran, another slum cluster in the UT, by a bridge. According to the local police, residents from the two clusters have always mixed freely.
According to health officials, the UT administration has been advised to look into their area and conduct random samplings as the infected person used to travel to Mauli Jagran for delivery of milk.
Sanitation workers given passes
At least 75 sanitation workers coming from Rajiv colony have been given passes for easy commute. “The sanitation workers have a huge role to play in keeping the city clean. We have put in a system of thermal scanning in place. Replacing the staff is not an option,” said MC Commissioner Sumedha Kataria.
The MC began extensive sanitization of the area overnight.
Health staff quarantined and tested
All outsourcing staffers from the area who used to work at General Hospital, Sector 6 have been sampled and are being shifted to quarantine facilities till their results come back.
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