COVID tests being ramped up at ISBTs as inter-state bus travel resumes

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (PTI) With the resumption of the inter-state bus service, medical teams have started screening passengers arriving from other states for COVID-19 by conducting around 1,500 rapid tests daily at Anand Vihar ISBT, officials said.

Out of the 1,500 tests conducted on Wednesday, 19 people including 11 passengers were found positive for the novel coronavirus and were shifted to a COVID care facility at Akshardham, they said.

The rapid testing at Kashmiri Gate and Sarai Kale Khan ISBTs will begin from Thursday, officials said.

The three inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs) at Anand Vihar, Sarai Kale Khan and Kashmiri Gate opened on Tuesday after a gap of around seven months. The ISBTs were closed after announcement of the countrywide lockdown in March to check spread of COVID-19.

'Shahdara district administration has deployed 47 personnel including two doctors and 15 lab technicians to conduct daily around 1500 rapid tests on the passengers and other persons there,' said a senior Transport department official.

Rapid COVID-19 testing with a daily capacity of 400 tests is also being arranged at Sarai Kale Khan ISBT by the south-east district administration. Testing at Sarai Kale Khan and Kashmiri Gate ISBTs will start from Thursday, he said.

The number of buses arriving from other states at the ISBTs increased slightly on the second day of commencement of the inter-state service.

A total of 629 buses at the ISBTs arrived from neighbouring UP, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan by Wednesday evening. On Monday, 542 buses from other states arrived there.

The Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (DTIDC) that operates the ISBT has issued a standard operating procedure allowing only 50 percent buses from other states, as compared to pre COVID-19 times, in the city. Various safety measures including compulsorily wearing face masks, thermal screening, social distancing have been put in place at the ISBTs to check the virus' spread. PTI VIT RDM RDM