SRINAGAR: To ascertain the exact spread of the disease in the district, the government has decided to conduct COVID-19 testing of all residents of localities where 5 or more positive cases have been reported.
The decision comes in the wake of a soaring number of positive cases in the district and is aimed at containing the further spread of the disease. It follows a comprehensive review of the prevailing situation surrounding COVID-19 and the existing containment efforts in the district.
Under this new micro containment plan, localities, where 5 or more COVID-19 positive cases have been reported, will be notified as containment zones with a reduced radius of 50-75 meters.
In these micro containment zones, which will replace the existing 200-meter zones, all residents within this reduced radius will be tested for COVID-19 using the rapid antigen testing or RAT.
Testing teams will visit each notified containment zone and conduct testing of all members of all households within these micro containment zones. Thanks to rapid antigen testing which will be used during this entire exercise the test results will be declared and shared on the spot.
Each micro containment zone to be notified will be closed at the perimeter to restrict entry and exit until their number of positive cases go below 5 as part of a comprehensive new containment and surveillance plan. The aim of closing off these zones is to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease out thereof.
In localities where the number of COVID-19 positive cases are below 5 only those households – and their contacts – will be tested where a positive case has been reported and those restrictions will remain restricted to those particular households.
Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal 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.
He said the decision to conduct testing of all households within a notified micro containment zone has been taken in view of the spike in and soaring numbers of COVID-19 infections in the district.
Dr Shahid has 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.
Meanwhile the district administration has de-notified at least 17 areas earlier notified as containment zones after reduction in their COVID-19 positive cases.