As coronavirus cases rose to 1,449 on Wednesday with 112 new cases reported from 18 districts of UP in the last 24 hours, the state government intensified pool testing to make sure that the infection is contained in the hotspots and the containment zones. The government also extended pool testing to two more districts — Jhansi and Prayagraj. While Jhansi has not reported any case so far and is considered a coldspot, Prayagraj recently became “corona-free” after the lone patient in the district recovered and was discharged from the hospital.
At present, pool testing is being conducted in Lucknow, Meerut — the two hotspot districts with 170 and 82 cases, respectively— and Etawah, which has reported only two cases.
According to Principal Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad, around 200 samples each were tested at Lucknow and Meerut by pool-testing, and around 180 samples RIMS, Saifai, Etawah in the last 24 hours.
The pooling of samples involves testing them in batches and when pooled sample tests positive, then individual samples are assessed. Pool testing reduces the number of test kits used, therefore, increases testing capacity.
According to the government, pool testing has enhanced the diagnostic capacity of the state by around 20 per cent. The state is now conducting around 3,500 RT-PCR tests every day.
In the last 24 hours, around 4000 samples were tested, out of which 112 tested positive.
The highest number of cases on Wednesday were reported in Saharanpur (26), closely followed by Moradabad (21). Agra, which has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state, reported 18 more cases, taking the tally to 324.
Kanpur City and Firozabad reported six each, Muzaffarnagar seven, Amroha five, Aligarh and Varanasi three each, Ghaziabad two and one each in Sultanpur, Mathura, Hapur, Bulandshahr, Lucknow, Gautam Buddh Nagar and Meerut.
Rae Bareli, where cases jumped by 33 in one day on Tuesday, reported eight more cases, taking the total number of cases to 43.
In Noida, a teenager tested positive for coronavirus, taking the tally in Gautam Buddh Nagar district to 103. The 15-year-old girl, who belongs to Kasganj district, but has been included as a Gautam Buddh Nagar case because her sample was taken here, District Surveillance Officer Sunil Dohare said.
So far, 32 places in the district, including residential societies and sectors, have been identified as coronavirus hotspots and completely sealed, according to the district administration.
According to the Additional District Magistrate of Kanpur, two more hotspots have been added in the city, taking the total number of such containment zones to 20. Among the six new cases in the district are a 54-year-old man and an 18-year-old boy from Chamnagnj area.
While no death was reported, 11 more patients recovered and were discharged, taking the number of recovered to 173. The highest number of recovered patients are from, Gautam Budh Nagar (44), followed by 18 in Agra, 13 in Ghaziabad, 17 in Meerut, nine in Lucknow, four in Lakhimpur Kheri, six in Varanasi and Maharajganj, five in Ghazipur, among other districts.
A bulletin issued by the state health department put the total number of active cases in the state at 1,255.
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