NEW DELHI: The ambit of Covid-19 tests has been expanded to community places in all districts, like parks, outside malls, markets, etc, that have a high footfall. For a few hours daily, tests are being conducted at such public places so that more people can avail of the opportunity without having to visit dispensaries or hospitals.
Officials on the frontline combating the pandemic said many healthy people with zero symptoms of the infection were unwilling to go for tests largely because of the societal stigma associated with the disease. Taking the tests to people could address this problem and help scale up testing, felt the officials.
Arun Gupta, additional DM of South district, said an open testing facility was being set up daily in the central park near Kailash Colony market. “We have found many people willing to go for the tests that are conducted using rapid antigen kits,” he added. Many market-goers were also turning up at the temporary testing facility.
Similar camps have been set up in East, North West and West districts. An official said setting up camps in parks of upscale colonies was turning out to be quite useful because many people who work in the shops and markets and as support staff in residential buildings get easy access to testing facilities, which are often not crowded. “We saw housemaids turn up for testing at such facilities,” said an official.
Testing is key to combating the novel coronavirus because it leads to quick identification of cases and immediate isolation of those found infected so that the infection doesn’t spread further. After identification, the treatment of the infected person can be started immediately. Early start of treatment results in recovery and reduces the fatality rate.
Since September 11, Delhi government has been conducting more than 60,000 tests daily, except for a few days. Only 33,733 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours on Monday. The high number of tests has led to over 4,000 people testing Covid-positive every day, barring three days. On Monday, the number of infected people was less than 4,000.
An East district official said they would be setting up a camp outside a mall soon. “We have been conducting tests in marketplaces and other areas that report a high footfall,” he added. To increase testing, the government has roped in mohalla clinics, besides pushing into action mobile vans.

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