To check a possible second Covid-19 wave, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to carry out fresh demarcation of containment zones, mapping of the area in which Covid cases are being reported and increasing the RT-PCR tests.
Additional chief secretary, health and family welfare, Amit Mohan Prasad said after Covid-19 cases started declining in mid-September, the state government had reduced the size of the containment zones. In an effort to check the possible second wave with the increase in cases, the government had now decided to increase the size of the containment zones, he said.
Now 50 metres of an area in which a single Covdi-19 case has been detected would be declared as containment zone whereas in the area in which more than one or cluster of Covid cases were reported, a radius of 100 m would be marked as containment zone, he said.
A state government officer said in view of the increase in Covid cases after the onset of winter, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines to check the second wave of infection. Along with demarcating the containment zones, the state government had been directed to allow essential activities in containment zones.
The district magistrates (DMs) would notify the containment zones on the websites and there would be no movement of people in or out of the zones except for medical emergencies. The supply of essential commodities would be maintained, intensive house-to-house surveillance would be carried out and testing and contact tracing would be done according to the protocol prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, he said.
The government has decided to launch intensive surveillance and sample testing drive in 15 districts in which maximum Covid cases are being reported since November 1.
The 15 districts include Lucknow, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Bareilly, Moradabad, Aligarh, Jhansi, Agra, Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar.
Intensive surveillance, sample testing and contact tracing drive will be launched in the area in which large positive cases are being reported. The DM and CMOs have been directed to carry out maximum RT-PCR tests in the localities in which large number of Covid cases are being reported.
In the second phase, the mapping of the red zones would be launched in the remaining 60 districts, additional chief secretary, health and family welfare, Amit Mohan Prasad he said.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officers to increase the RT-PCR sample tests across the state, Prasad said. In view of the CM’s order, the health department has decided to carry out 60% Rapid Antigen and 40% RT-PCR tests.
A health department officer said the state government was constantly strengthening the network of the laboratories in the districts. Recently the CM inaugurated eight new laboratories, increasing the strength to 42. With the increase in the laboratories, the state government could enhance the RT-PCR test, he said.
On Wednesday a record 1.78 lakh samples were tested in the state. While 72,808 samples were tested with RT-PCR, 1.03 lakh sample were tested with rapid antigen and 2,308 samples were tested with TrueNat machines. A total of 1.84 crore samples have been tested in the state since the start of the Covid pandemic in March.
The increase of the Covid cases among the old people has caused concern among the health department officers. Prasad said the infection rate among the old people had increased from 8% to 10.19%. Covid infection among old people lead to complications and they should be encouraged to stay at home, he said.
On Wednesday, UP reported 2,318 fresh Covid-19 cases. There were 24,876 active cases in the state while 11,718 people were in home isolation, 2,378 were admitted in the private hospitals and remaining patients were admitted to government hospitals.
With the death of 29 people in various districts on Wednesday, the Covid-19 death toll in the state rose to 7,644.