With the number of daily fresh Covid-19 cases in Rajkot continuing to hover around 100 for around two weeks, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) Monday said that it would test air, rail and road travellers on a random basis, from Tuesday, in a bid to contain the spread of the contagion in the city.
Rajkot Municipal Commissioner Udit Agrawal held a meeting with local officials of the Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation (GSRTC), the Rajkot division of Western Railway and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) on Monday. Consequently, it was announced that the civic body would station health teams at de-boarding points and randomly test passengers for Covid-19.
“The positivity rate in the city is coming down and therefore, we want to focus on people coming from outside to not spread the infection. Therefore, we have decided to test passengers randomly at the railway station, the airport and bus stops,” Agrawal told The Indian Express. “Once we start randomly testing those coming from outside, you would see the evidence. Ahmedabad adopted a similar strategy and we are following it.”
Kudroad Road-Okha train, scheduled to arrive at Rajkot railway station at 8 am on Tuesday, will be the first passenger train to arrive in Rajkot in five months. Similarly, the Spicejet flight from Mumbai also landed at Rajkot airport after a similar gap. This week, the number of flights from the city is going up to 19 per week. A new flight from Rajkot to Delhi has also been added to the schedule.
“Some 58 passengers are to de-board the train at Rajkot railway station and we shall set up a booth there to test passengers randomly. We have requested space for our health team at the airport and our booth will become operational from Tuesday. However, setting up booths for testing those arriving by buses would take two to three days,” Agrawal said.
The Rajkot division of the GSRTC has been operating around 750 routes daily, ferrying around 25,000 passengers. “But mostly, these routes cover Saurashtra and districts like Ahmedabad and Vadodara. Our only routes covering destinations outside Gujarat are to Rajasthan and Diu, and that too only five trips. But, we shall extend full support to the RMC in testing our passengers randomly,” said Yogesh Patel, divisional controller of GSRTC in Rajkot.
“We have given thermal guns to 150 bus conductors who serve on rural routes. Similarly, 55 depots in our division have also been given thermal guns to screen passengers before they are allowed to board buses.” added the divisional controller.
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