PATNA: With the deployment of government doctors at police stations, Sitamarhi has become the first district in Bihar where people caught without masks during police checking are given a rapid antigen test for COVID-19.
Starting from Wednesday as a brainchild of Sitamarhi DM Abhilasha Kumari Sharma, this initiative has helped drive home the message to venture out wearing masks without fail. In the last two days, hundreds of people without masks were provided rapid antigen test facilities at various police stations in the district. Luckily, only very few tested positive.
Impressed by the initiative, other districts of the state are also planning to provide testing facilities at all police stations for those who are caught without masks.
Confirming this to The New Indian Express, Sitamarhi DM Abhilasha Kumari Sharma said, "Whoever is caught without masks on the move in the district by police will be slapped with fines and provided testing facilities for COVID-19 at police stations, so that they can be aware of the preventive measures for the pandemic."
A number of government doctors and medical staff have been deputed at police stations in the district for this purpose. The DM said that special testing camps have also been launched at thana level.
"It is a brilliant initiative by the DM. We, the people of the district, should support this voluntarily to fight COVID-19," said Vinay Kumar, a youth from Sitamarhi.
The DM said the details including phone numbers of all those who are tested at police stations are maintained by the doctors for further contact.
If anyone tests positive for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic, the doctors provide medical assistance and guidelines on how to maintain home isolation.
There are 18 police stations in Sitamarhi and 17 blocks. According to the health department, the district still has 42 active cases of COVID-19 while 14 have died so far. On December 2 alone, six persons tested positive in Sitamarhi.