Coronavirus: Doorstep screening of Indore residents over next week

New Delhi: All residents of Indore, numbering about 2.6 million, will be screened for symptoms of coronavirus over the next one week, as Madhya Pradesh has stepped up efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 in the worst affected city in the state.

The decision comes after 47 people died in Indore and the number of positive cases galloped to nearly 850. The World Health Organization (WHO) has deployed three officers in Indore to help in community surveillance, contact tracing and developing containment and buffer zones. The Centre has also rushed an assessment team to Indore.

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Friday that the coronavirus infection had spread in Indore in February and March, before he took over as CM on March 23. The district administration has so far screened about 400,000 people living in 155 containment zones identified in Indore, but a decision has now been taken to screen everyone in the city for symptoms, Indore’s district collector Manish Singh told ET.

Doorstep Screening of Indore Residents Over Next Week

About 500 teams have conducted such screenings so far in Indore. Singh said 5,120 people have been tested so far in the city, which means a testing rate of 2,000 per one million population, which is among the highest testing rates in the country. Testing rates will be increased further, he said. The administration is especially concerned because some of the infected in Indore are children and nearly one-third of the existing capacity of isolation and intensive care unit (ICU) beds is already in use. Indore has a capacity of 1,262 isolation beds and 184 ICU beds, out of which 428 and 81 respectively are already occupied. As per a bulletin issued by the state administration, 65 patients in Indore are in a serious condition.

Facing a paucity of medical staff in Indore, the state government had posted 70 medical students to the city as part of a bond signed by them for being drafted for duty in case of an emergency. But only one of these 70 medical students reached Indore for duty. The state government has initiated administrative action against the rest. In all, 1,308 positive cases have been reported from MP so far.

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