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Sample centres to address Howrah Covid-19 concern

Four sample collection centres are being set up in as many ward health units of the Howrah Municipal Corporation in the first phase
They are located near Aloka cinema and in Round Tank Lane in Shibpur, on Tikiapara’s Belilious Road and in Salkia’s Sitanath Bose Lane. The centres are likely to start collecting samples from Wednesday or Thursday.
They are located near Aloka cinema and in Round Tank Lane in Shibpur, on Tikiapara’s Belilious Road and in Salkia’s Sitanath Bose Lane. The centres are likely to start collecting samples from Wednesday or Thursday.
(PTI)

Subhajoy Roy   |   Howrah   |   Published 27.04.20, 09:55 PM

Four swab sample collection centres are being set up in the Howrah municipal area so people suspected to be carriers of the novel coronavirus need not visit hospital for a test, officials of the civic body said on Monday.

Now, such people have to visit a designated Covid-19 hospital, where they are admitted before their swab samples are taken. If they test negative, they are discharged. If the report is positive, they are treated at the hospital.

Four sample collection centres are being set up in as many ward health units of the Howrah Municipal Corporation in the first phase. The units are in some of the worst-hit pockets in Howrah city.

They are located near Aloka cinema and in Round Tank Lane in Shibpur, on Tikiapara’s Belilious Road and in Salkia’s Sitanath Bose Lane.

The centres are likely to start collecting samples from Wednesday or Thursday.

“During our surveillance, we found that many people were not keen on visiting hospital to get themselves tested because of a psychological barrier. So, we decided to open sample collection units at the local level. People may not be opposed to visiting a health centre near home,” said Bijin Krishna, the administrator of the civic body.

Officials of the municipal corporations in Calcutta and Howrah have complained that many people are reluctant to visit hospital for tests even if surveillance or contact tracing by the civic bodies threw up the hint that they had contracted the virus.

The step to start sample collection at the local level, close to one’s home, gains significance against this backdrop.

Officials at the Howrah civic body said eight wards — 6, 15, 19, 27, 28, 29, 31 and 36 (comprising pockets in Shibpur, Salkia and around the Howrah Maidan) — were among the worst affected.

Around 80 per cent of the 106 coronavirus positive cases in Howrah city have been reported from these places.

“The four sample collection centres are in these wards. Each centre is for two wards,” an official said.

The corporation started a door-to-door survey of all households in these eight wards on Monday.

“Our field workers will bring information from the community. They will also ask people with symptoms such as fever, cough, breathing difficulty and runny nose to visit health clinics. Doctors there will examine these people and, if needed, their samples will be collected,” said one official.

The corporation has set up 175 two-member teams to do the survey in the eight wards.

Field monitors working with the World Health Organisation are accompanying the survey teams for better fact finding, the official said.



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