The chief minister said rural areas had been a matter of huge concern and the government would have to protect villages from the pandemic.

The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday announced it would launch a mega Covid testing campaign in villages across the state from May 4 To contain and end the Covid surge in rural areas to end the Covid surge in rural areas and protect villages “at any cost”. The decision was taken at a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Adityanath.

The chief minister said rural areas had been a matter of huge concern and the government would have to protect villages from the pandemic. Last month senior health officials had confirmed that unlike the first wave — when only one-fourth of the cases were from rural areas — around half of the latest infections are being reported from villages.

“We have to protect villages from Covid infection at any cost. There is a need for special vigilance towards the villages. In such a situation, a massive campaign of Covid testing should be conducted in all the 97,409 revenue villages of the state,” Adityanath told officials at the meeting.

While the Covid caseload in UP continued to be high, Sunday brought some relief to the health system in the state as the active caseload dropped below three lakh for the first time in six days.

The patient count was 2,95,752, with UP reporting 30,983 new cases and 36,650 recoveries in 24 hours. The recovery rate at present is 76.47 per cent. The state health bulletin reported 290 Covid-related fatlities in 24 hours, which pushed up the toll to 13,162.

Of the new cases, 3,342 were reported in Lucknow, 1,610 in Varanasi, 1,571 in Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida), 1,357 in Kanpur Nagar, 1,089 in Saharanpur, 1,085 in Ghaziabad and 1,033 in Meerut. With 25 deaths, the capital continued to top the toll list. Kanpur Nagar reported 21 deaths in 24 hours, while 20 fatalities occurred in Ghaziabad. In Jhansi, 18 patients succumbed to the respiratory disease, while 16 died in Varanasi, 14 in Prayagraj, 13 in Agra and 12 in Gautam Buddh Nagar.

To stop the infection from spreading in villages, the chief minister has asked officials to increase the number of RRTs (Rapid Response Teams). The members of these teams have to make door-to-door visits and check body temperatures, record oxygen levels and check for other symptoms in people in home isolation. Adityanath asked officials to seek help from monitoring committees, and said people found to be unwell or those who test positive should be treated according to the established medical protocols. Around 60,569 surveillance committees (“nigrani samitis”) have been set up in 58,194 gram panchayats to provide relief and timely medical facilities to the villagers.

Adityanath said lekhpals (government clerics) would be a part of these teams.

There are around 40,1851 members in 60,569 village surveillance committees. The gram pradhan, or village head, heads these panels. The gram panchayat secretaries are member secretaries of these committees. Among their other members are Asha representatives, anganwadikatris, kotedars, rojgar sevaks, and chowkidars.

Meanwhile, the government claimed that cleaning, sanitisation and fogging were done at a rapid pace in all 58,194 gram panchayats as part of a special sanitisation drive. All village streets were sprayed with bleaching powder, sodium hypo chloride, and fogging was also done, officials added.

Help in fight against Covid: CM to traders

During a virtual interaction with traders and traders’ associations in the state, Chief Minister Adityanath on Sunday said the traders community has always helped the society and the country, and urged that they should also play their role in the fight during the crisis amid the second Covid wave. Stating that the present circumstances along with weekly lockdown and night curfew have affected life and livelihood, he asked the traders to continue their coordination. He added that in case of any oppression or untoward incidents, they can reach out to the local administration or even the Chief Minister’s Office. (Express News Service)

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