As states began phased reopening of most activities on Monday, which could result in an upsurge of coronavirus cases, the Andhra Pradesh government has passed an order to test 290 people every day in each district to track prevalence of infection in the community.
From construction workers to agricultural labourers, and vegetable vendors to shopkeepers, there are 15 categories of people who will be tested every day in each district as part of the sentinel surveillance to track the spread of the virus in the community, the state Health Medical and Family Welfare Department has ordered.
“A sentinel surveillance system to understand prevalence infection in the community shall be taken up and such persons identified have to be tested every day. Every district shall test 290 persons every day in this manner,” the order stated.
The state government has ordered that each district would test 100 fever cases and 25 cases of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI)/ influenza-like illness (ILI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Each district has also been ordered to test 20 people each in four categories: people who have returned to villages bypassing entry points; those aged 60 years and above; people with co-morbidties; and those returning from outside the state in trains.
The government has asked districts to test 10 cases each among eight categories of people: those suspected to be coming in close proximity of people reported Covid-positive on Arogya Setu app, people in wholesale markets, shopkeepers, constructions workers at one site, agricultural labourers in one locality, vegetable and fruit market vendors, industrial workers in one industry and healthcare workers or government officials on COVID duties.
It also ordered testing of five market yard workers at a single market yard in each district.
The government has told district magistrates that barring those with fever, SARI and comorbidity, all other categories should be randomly selected.
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