‘Super spreaders’ in Ghaziabad markets as 79 employees of commercial establishments find Covid-19 positive

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Ghaziabad: Residents should be very careful when visiting various showrooms, candy stores, drugstores, and auto shops, among others, as the district health department’s “targeted testing” records indicate that staff at these facilities have. the potential to be “super spreaders”.

The 15-day ride was launched on October 29 in Ghaziabad during festival season and ended on Thursday. According to figures from the health department, as part of the campaign from October 29 to November 12, around 20,852 tests were performed for specific groups such as rickshaw drivers, beauticians, room staff. ‘exhibition and shopping malls, confectionery and drugstore staff, among others.

Targeted testing yielded 79 positive cases which were isolated according to Covid-19 protocols. However, district administration officials said these specific groups have the potential to spread infection more than a normal person who moves away.

“These groups have been tested specifically because they operate in markets and, if infected, have the potential to spread the infection to large numbers of people. Thus, this campaign was undertaken specifically around the festival season so that more of these people can be identified and filtered in case of infection. This will prevent their clients from contracting the infection, ”said Ajay Shankar Pandey, district magistrate.

The target groups were tested by rapid antigen kits as well as by RT-PCR tests. Reports of 738 RT-PCR tests performed on Nov. 11 and 12 are expected, officials said.

However, test records available from October 29 to November 12 indicated that the largest number of positive cases, 19, were found among staff at showrooms and auto shops. About 13 staff working in pharmacies were also found positive. Records also revealed that seven motorists and 14 employees from different confectioneries were found positive for Covid-19 during the journey.

Although the overall positivity rate from tests performed during the ride was around 0.38%, experts said the rate can still be considered high when compared to the total population.

“I think 0.38% positivity is still high for such groups if we see them considering the total district population which is around 45 lakh. Thus, these categories of people can also be referred to as high-risk groups who have the potential to spread the infection repeatedly. Thus, the campaign was carried out on time and must continue until the end of the holiday season, ”said Dr VB Jindal, former president of Indian Medical Association – Ghaziabad.

Health department officials said targeted testing had been done to prevent the spread of the infection.

“Targeted testing was done at random for specific groups to determine which one has high positivity and can infect people more. These groups, which have the potential to be great presenters, come into contact with hundreds of people every day during the festival season. So we carried out random tests and isolated those that came back positive, ”said an agent from the district health department who wished not to be named.

Officials added that the department has repeatedly advised and educated the masses to respect the wearing of face masks, wash their hands frequently and maintain social distancing in order to avoid infection.


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