Pune: Continuing with the aggressive testing strategy, the district and civic administration has started testing the ‘super-spreader’ shopkeepers for COVID-19. In a single day, 250 shopkeepers from Bhavani Peth area were screened of which four were found asymptomatic but positive for Covid-19 on Thursday (June 30).
Saurabh Rao, Special Officer on Duty at the Divisional Commissioner Office said, “Conducting Covid-19 tests for super-spreader elements is our priority. The testing for shopkeepers have been started from July 30 and in the first phase 250 shopkeepers from Bhavani Peth area which is trading hub have been tested. Out of these 250 shopkeepers, only four tested positive for the disease but they too were asymptomatic. If we had not conducted these tests, then they would not have been identified in early stage and as a result they would have acted as carriers of the coronavirus.”
“We will be collecting samples of shopkeepers in the city on a daily basis. These samples will be collected randomly,” Rao said. He also emphasized on the need of bringing more awareness about using masks. “Since the entire administration is engaged in COVID-duty we have our priorities defined but there is a need to create more public awareness about wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus,” Rao said.
The new containment strategy of the district and civic administration includes allocating a testing quota for potential super-spreaders of the virus. Under this quota, medical shop employees, vegetable and fruits vendors and street vendors will be tested for Covid-19 positivity to break the chain of coronavirus infections. Contact tracing was increased during the lockdown period as it gave more time to the patient and administration for taking precautionary measures.
When questioned about the status of weekend lockdowns demanded by the trade associations in the city, Rao said, “The traders had demanded for weekend lockdowns if the odd-even basis for shop reopening is done away with. But the odd-even basis formula has been suggested by the state government and hence we at district administration level can’t take any decision to scrap it. The state government will take a call about weekend lockdowns if necessary.”