Rawalpindi district administration has begun randomised testing for coronavirus in markets, orphanages, and jails. 10 orphanages and the whole staff in Adiala Jail and inmates will also be tested.
The retired Commissioner Rawalpindi Mohammad Mehmood has said that the district administration has been asked by the provincial government to start random testing with the government’s provided facilities.
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Besides testing orphanages and prisoners, the crowded areas of markets will also be sampled. The randomised sampling has started from Raja Bazaar from yesterday where testing will be carried out in main markets especially the crowded ones in all seven tehsils of Rawalpindi in the coming week.
Crowded areas, shopkeepers and visitors will especially get tested. He also told that randomised testing will give an idea to experts regarding the extent of the spread of the virus in Rawalpindi and whether it has slowed down in such areas or not.
He further told, “We set a target for teams to [sample 1,200 people] for Covid-19 for a week, and the results will be given to the Punjab government on a daily basis which will compile the details for future planning,”
Moreover, this new data will be helpful for the government in making decisions whether these areas need a smart lockdown or what precautionary measures should be taken in order to prevent the surge in the virus.
“We carried out 900 tests for Covid-19 [in cattle markets] and they were all negative. After this, the provincial government decided to open markets early on Aug 3 instead of Aug 5,” he said.
The staff and convicts of Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, all will go through randomised testing. The jail contains more than 4,000 prisoners and the jail has the capacity for only 1,994 prisoners which means there had been no social distancing. This overcrowdedness is highly vulnerable to the COVID-19 spread.
There are 10 orphanages in Rawalpindi run by the government and private organizations while three orphanages were closed in a pandemic but some remained open where the spread of the virus may be found.