Other States

Noida, Ghaziabad start random testing of Delhi travellers

After Gautam Buddha Nagar, the Ghaziabad administration started random screening of people travelling from Delhi for COVID-19 from Tuesday evening.

This has come after the two districts saw a surge in cases after Deepavali.

Officials from the health department stopped travellers from Delhi at the Ghazipur border and tested them through rapid antigen test kits. Later, they were joined by police officials for effective management.

“We have done random sampling earlier, but this time we are doing it in the evening to check whether Ghaziabad residents who are working in Delhi are bringing the virus from the Capital, which has seen a spike in cases after Deepavali. We will do it for a few days and calculate the positivity rate,” said N.K. Gupta, Chief Medical Officer (Ghaziabad) adding the test were voluntary.

Ghaziabad saw 1,115 new cases in the week after Deepavali. This number was 784 in the week before the festival. In Gautam Buddha Nagar, these numbers were 1,083 and 1,256, respectively.

Dr. Gupta, who was present on the ground, said Ghaziabad has 200 ICU beds and 50 more would be added soon. “Almost 50% of them are occupied by patients from Delhi,” he said.

Tanya Singh, who works in real estate and travels daily from Mohan Nagar to Mayur Vihar was stopped at the border. “It is a healthy initiative,” she said. Elated at being found negative, she said everybody should cooperate.

Ramendra Singh, coming from Okhla Mandi, was not as pleased. “It is really random. They are not asking for the identity card of those tested. They are not giving any physical report either. If I am stopped tomorrow or at the other border, I have nothing to show,” he said.

Officials said the report would be sent on the phone number of those tested.

“Those found positive will be isolated,” Dr. Gupta said.

The kiosks promised by higher officials were nowhere to be seen. One official was standing and writing down the details of those tested. “This is the first day, we will fill whatever gaps there are. We have plenty of kits,” said Dr. Gupta.

Later, private buses going from Anand Vihar to eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh were also stopped. Ravi Kumar, a daily wager travelling from Rohtak with his wife and child, said he was travelling to home town Basti as he apprehended a lockdown. “I don’t want to be caught unaware like last time. The problem is I don’t have a phone,” he said.

In Noida, random tests were done at two places on the Delhi-Noida border. “As per the instructions of the district magistrate, rapid antigen tests were conducted at Ashok Nagar and Botanical Garden. Out of 188 persons, 3 were found positive,” said Rakesh Chauhan, District Information Officer.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 7:51:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/noida-ghaziabad-start-random-testing-of-delhi-travellers/article33172634.ece

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