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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

64% of Uttar Pradesh’s villages Covid free, claims government

As per Wednesday’s health bulletin, a record 2,97,327 samples were tested in 24 hours, of which more than 73 per cent — 2.19 lakh of 2.99 lakh tests — were from rural areas, the government said.

By: Express News Service | Lucknow |
Updated: May 20, 2021 5:58:30 am
A nearly empty emergency ward in Lucknow’s Civil Hospital Wednesday. City reported 439 cases in 24 hours. (Express Photo by Vishal Srivastav)

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday claimed that, based on the latest testing data, 64 per cent of villages in the state were free of Covid-19. With rural UP reporting more cases during the second wave, the government has claimed to have focused its resources there and ramped up efforts to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the respiratory disease, in villages.

As per Wednesday’s health bulletin, a record 2,97,327 samples were tested in 24 hours, of which more than 73 per cent — 2.19 lakh of 2.99 lakh tests — were from rural areas, the government said. It added that 7,336 new cases were detected, and 282 deaths were reported. According to it, 19,669 more patients had recovered from the disease.

In a statement, the state administration said monitoring committees, which play a vital role in the ongoing efforts to contain the pandemic, were getting more than one lakh tests done in rural areas every day. The government claimed that the committees were religiously following its mantra of “test, trace and treat”, and its members had visited 79,512 villages as part of a Covid screening campaign that started on May 5. Of those villages, the virus was detected in 28,742 (36 per cent). The testing drive was conducted with the help of more than four lakh members of 60,589 monitoring committees, the government said.

“Representatives of civil society groups such as Asha, Anganwadi and ANM, who have been part of the committees, act as a shield to protect people from the disease by identifying suspected cases, expediting tests and facilitating treatment as fast as possible. They have been given oximeters and infrared thermometers to identify the symptoms. After identifying the suspected cases of Covid-19, the representatives pass on the information to the RRTs, which visit the residences of the suspected cases and conduct tests. Subsequently, tests are conducted on the family members of the suspected cases also,” read the statement.

Asked if testing more samples from rural UP would affect testing in urban areas, Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said more than 1.5 lakh samples from urban areas were in the pipeline for Thursday and samples from both the urban and rural areas would be tested at the same time. He added that while more RT-PCR tests were conducted in cities and towns, the testing capacity in villages had been increased with the help of antigen tests. Over 1.22 lakh tests in 24 hours were conducted using the RT-PCR method, the official said.

The administration said a special sanitation campaign had started in rural areas to prevent the virus from spreading. Members of the monitoring committees were reaching out to villagers to raise their awareness of the importance of hygiene and social distancing, it added.

Meanwhile, the state Cabinet condoled the death of Minister of State for Revenue and Flood Control Vijay Kashyap.

Kashyap (56) succumbed to Covid-19 at a Gurgaon hospital Tuesday night. He was an MLA from Muzaffarnagar’s Charthawal. Kashyap was on Wednesday cremated with state honours at his native town Nanota in Saharanpur district. He is the third UP minister to succumb to the virus.

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