Srinagar, Sep 1 (PTI) In a move to ascertain the exact spread of coronavirus in summer capital Srinagar, the local administration on Tuesday decided to conduct COVID-19 testing of all residents in localities where five or more positive cases have been reported.
The decision comes in the wake of the soaring number of positive cases in the district and is aimed at containing further spread of the disease, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said.
Among the total 717 COVID-related deaths in Jammu and Kashmir since the outbreak of the disease in March, Srinagar tops the fatality chart with 223 deaths. The district has also reported the highest caseload of 9,368 cases, though 7,634 of them have recovered.
Choudhary said the perimeter of COVID-19 containment zones in Srinagar has been revised and reduced in order to streamline and make more efficient the containment efforts in the district.
'The decision to conduct testing of all households within a notified micro containment zone has been taken in view of the spike in numbers of COVID-19 infections in the district,' he said.
The deputy commissioner urged all residents of localities notified or to be notified as micro containment zones to support the district administration in the containment efforts being intensified in the district to reduce the number of infected cases and contain the spread of the disease.
Under this new micro containment plan, localities where five or more COVID-19 positive cases have been reported will be notified as containment zones with a reduced radius of 50-75 metres, officials said.
In these micro containment zones which would replace the existing 200-metre zones, all residents within this reduced radius will be tested for COVID-19 using the rapid antigen testing (RAT), they said.
The officials said testing teams would visit each notified containment zone and conduct testing of all members of all households within these micro containment zones. Rapid antigen testing will be used during this entire exercise and the results will be declared and shared on the spot.
Each micro containment zone to be notified would be closed at the perimeter to restrict entry and exit until the number of positive cases go below five as part of a comprehensive new containment and surveillance plan, they said, adding the aim of closing off these zones was to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In localities where the number of COVID-19 positive cases are below five, only those households – and their contacts – would be tested where a positive case has been reported and that restrictions will remain restricted to those particular households, the officials said. PTI SKL AQS AQS AQS