COVID: Noida authorities begin random testing at borders with Delhi

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Noida (UP), Nov 18 (PTI) Gautam Buddh Nagar health officials were on Wednesday deployed at two key Noida-Delhi borders where they started random COVID-19 testing of people coming from the national capital.

The random testing was announced by District Magistrate Suhas L Y on Tuesday after a meeting with senior officials amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Delhi.

Gautam Buddh Nagar Chief Medical Officer Deepak Ohri said teams of health officials are present at the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway and Chilla -- the two key entry points to Noida from the national capital.

According to an official statement, 165 people were tested on Wednesday, of which three were found infected with the infection.

Health officials tested 81 people at the DND border, where one person tested positive. The remaining 84 people were tested at the Chilla border, where two people were found infected with the virus. 'We are conducting rapid antigen-based tests on people randomly so that traffic movement is not impacted. This is being done to check virus carriers and ensure that the infection is contained in Gautam Buddh Nagar,' Ohri, who was himself present at the DND flyway, told reporters.

Several health officials wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) are at the border locations along with policemen where they have set up desks for the rapid antigen-based test, which gives results in 15 minutes. Further action is taken based on the test result.

'If anyone is found positive, they are sent back to Delhi. Those who are Noida or Greater Noida residents coming from Delhi but result in positive are contained in the district. Only those testing negative are allowed to enter Noida,' Ohri said, adding all facilities for testing are available at the borders.

He said a similar campaign will be carried out on Wednesday at Ashok Nagar, adjoining Delhi, and at Botanical Garden Metro Station in Noida on Thursday.

DM Suhas had on Tuesday said only a few randomly selected commuters shall be tested.

'This is being done in order to assess the spread of infection and would help in issuing advisories to employers and organisations, where a large number of people work and commute between Gautam Buddh Nagar and adjacent areas so that the spread of infection is contained to a large extent,' he said.

Gautam Buddh Nagar has recorded 20,566 cases of COVID-19, including 73 deaths, with 1,236 active cases, according to official data on Tuesday.

However, Delhi has recorded over one lakh new coronavirus cases and around 1,200 deaths between November 1 and November 16 while nearly 94,000 patients recovered during the same period, according to official data.

The national capital has witnessed a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11. PTI KIS RHL RDK RDK