Agartala: Amid a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the areas under Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC), the Tripura government has decided to launch a mass testing drive from Sunday to identify and treat the infected people immediately, an official said.

“At a meeting of the West Tripura district task force recently, it was decided to conduct a mass testing drive across the AMC areas starting from three wards — 26, 27 and 28 — which have reported the maximum number of COVID-19 cases,” Debasish Das, chief medical officer, West Tripura district, said.

He also said that four teams comprising healthcare staff, ASHA workers, booth level officers (BLO) and social activists will be formed for each ward to visit households and conduct COVID-19 testing of a member of the family.

“Sadar sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ashim Saha has been given the charge as supervising officer for the entire process during the district task force meeting,” Das added.

Das also said that the health team going door-to-door, conducting surveys and tests of family members on suspecting spread of the virus in a family can test all the members for confirmation.

The AMC comprises 49 wards spread across the West Tripura district with a population of around six lakh.

Earlier, on May 12, the West Tripura district administration had declared wards 5, 21 and 46 of AMC as containment zones due to the outbreak of COVID-19. All activities within a 2-km radius of the three wards were banned, and only emergency services remained operational till May 22.

Also read: Tripura to conduct Class 10, 12 board exams in select subjects: Minister

Meanwhile, the state government has started paid COVID-19 testing facilities in four testing centres — GBP hospital, TMC hospital in Hapania, IGM hospital and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Regional Cancer hospital.

Anyone willing to undergo rapid antigen tests would be charged Rs 100 and Rs 500 for RT-PCR tests. But people belonging to BPL category, priority groups and Ayushman health card holders will be tested free of cost. However, in case doctors prescribe the test, it will be conducted free of cost.

Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours, Tripura reported 13 fresh deaths — the highest single-day toll so far. The state witnessed 783 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Of these, West Tripura district reported 378 cases alone, followed by South Tripura (110), Unakoti (73),Gomati (62), North Tripura (50), Dhalai (44), Sepahijala (38), Khowai (28).

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