Health Dept changes strategy in Patiala, sets off random sampling

Doctors , cops and arrested persons to be tested for Covid

Health Dept changes strategy in Patiala, sets off random sampling

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, May 25

Changing its strategy, the Health Department will now conduct random Covid tests for all high-risk communities, including doctors, police personnel and government employees to check the spread of coronavirus.

Earlier, the Health Department was testing symptomatic patients, high-risk contacts of Covid positive patients, and people with travel history. As per the revised strategy, the Health Department would test persons arrested persons by the police. Besides, jail inmates would also be tested, said officials of the Health Department.

High-risk government employees of the Health Department, Rural Development, Urban Local Government, Food and Supplies Department, Mandi Board, and procurement agencies would be randomly tested, added officials.

The Health Department would make a strategy for taking stratified samples (random samples after creating strata) of population based on risk characteristic, including age, income, population, travel history, property, density of the residential area, contact intensity at work and medical history.

Besides, people working in congested fruit and wholesale markets, retail stores and banks would also be tested for the virus. Notably, an ASHA worker tested positive for the coronavirus during random testing last week.

Dr Sumeet Singh, district epidemiologist, said they had already conducted random sampling of more than 100 health workers and undertrials as per the revised strategy. They were also testing pregnant women and symptomatic individuals in highly vulnerable population like slum areas and brick kilns where there was a high probability of the spread of disease, he added.

Patiala Civil Surgeon, Dr Harish Malhotra, said, “Today, we collected samples of many personnel along with other high risk contacts. We are taking samples of frontline workers as directed by the state Health Department. The aim is to stem the spread of virus.”

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