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Bihar sets lofty coronavirus screening target: full state population

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This exercise was instituted after the state government identified four hotspot districts-Siwan, Munger, Beguaarai and Nawada-which account for all 86 cases in Bihar.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published: April 20, 2020 1:19:25 am
bihar, bihar migrants, bihar coronavirus cases, bihar coronavirus tests, bihar coronavirus testing, bihar testing, india migrants coronavirus, migrants crisis, bihar covid-19 deaths The state has started knocking on every door in all 38 districts to collect samples and asked all medical shops to note down the names and contact details of people buying medicines for fever, cough and breathing problems. (File Photo/Representational)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Bihar has set itself the ambitious target of screening its entire 11.5 crore population for the coronoavirus and has laid out a two-pronged strategy to achieve it. The state has started knocking on every door in all 38 districts to collect samples and asked all medical shops to note down the names and contact details of people buying medicines for fever, cough and breathing problems.

At the last count, around 65 lakh people were screened for the virus.

This exercise was instituted after the state government identified four hotspot districts-Siwan, Munger, Beguaarai and Nawada-which account for all 86 cases in Bihar.

Siwan and Munger alone reported 29 and 17 cases respectively. Of the 85 cases, 37 patients have recovered so far. Two people, one with acute kidney complications and another with brain tumour, died.

Bihar principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar told The Indian Express: “After the first general round of testing and second six-phase screening of 2.87 lakh migrants, we have been trying to screen the entire state population through door-to-door sampling since 13 April. By 17 April, we have reached out to 12,25,968 households having 64,77,267 family members.”

The health secretary said Anganwadi and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) have been collecting details of people having cough with fever and breathing problems. “So far, we have collected 413 samples from the door-to-door exercise. Of it, 180 people have travelled outside Bihar and 26 persons had returned from foreign travel,” said Kumar.

He said chemist shops have been asked to note down names and phone numbers of people buying medicines for cough, fever and breathing distress and submit it periodically to a local health official. This, Kumar said, is being done to narrow down a list of people to be screened.

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