COVID-19 pool testing should be encouraged in UP: Adityanath

Lucknow, Apr 26 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Sunday said pool testing should be encouraged in the state to ensure that coronavirus is contained in the hotspots and containment zones.

At present, pool testing of coronavirus samples is being conducted in Lucknow, Meerut and Etawah.

Pooling of samples involves testing them in batches and when pooled sample tests positive, then individual samples are assessed. Pool testing reduces the number of test kits used, therefore, increases testing capacity.

'For prevention of COVID-19, pool testing should be encouraged, as through pool testing more people can be tested, and thereby COVID-19 could be effectively controlled,' Adityanath said while chairing a meeting of senior UP government officials at his residence here.

He said it is very important for medical personnel to take all precautions while treating patients infected with coronavirus.

'Hence, the COVID-19 hospitals should have an adequate number of PPE kits and N-95 masks. The dedicated COVID-19 teams should be constantly monitored. The doctors, nurses, para-medical and other staff must be saved from infection at every cost,' the chief minister said.

Adityanath said the state government has earmarked hospitals for dedicated treatment of COVID-19 patients.

He also said that planning should be done to expand plasma therapy for treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state, as it has given good results.

The chief minister said the people of Uttar Pradesh who are stranded in other states and have completed their quarantine period will be brought back in a phased manner.

Adityanath directed the chief secretary, the principal secretary (medical and health) and the director general of police to seek feedback from nodal officers posted in 19 sensitive districts to effectively implement containment measures in view of the rising number of cases.

'Social distancing must be maintained in the industrial units, which have been allowed to operate. Steps should be taken to ensure that guidelines of the health department should be strictly adhered to in these industrial units. The supply chain is working properly, and it should be ensured that it works like this,' Adityanath said, adding that health check-up of people engaged in home delivery should be done continuously.

Instructions were also issued to regularly sanitise the shelter homes in the state, a statement issued by UP government said.

The chief minister asked the additional chief secretary (revenue) to do geo-tagging of shelter homes and details of the people kept there in quarantine should be compiled, and they should be linked to the Aarogya Setu app.

'Patrolling should be increased and no permission should be granted till June 30 for holding any public programme. Social media should be monitored,' he said.

Adityanath also laid stress on using RuPay cards for doing transactions.

According to the Union Health Ministry, there are 1,793 COVID-19 cases in the state and 27 people have lost their lives due to the disease. PTI NAV SNE SNE