VIJAYAWADA: With more people entering Andhra Pradesh from other states with high incidence of Covid-19 cases, the official machinery has scaled up tests conducted at entry points — airports and railway stations — by laucnhing special buses. To collect swab samples of people arriving from other states, Intelligent Monitoring Analysis Service Quarantine (iMASQ) buses were deployed at Vijayawada airport and railway station on Tuesday. A similar vehicle will be deployed at Jaggaiahpeta in Krishna district on Wednesday.
Each bus has 10 counters, with three officials deployed at each counter. Of the three, one is a doctor who collects swab samples of a passenger, while the other two collect his/her personal details. The person being tested will not be allowed to enter the bus.
“Samples of each and every person who come from high incidence areas will be collected at checkposts or arriving points... all those belonging to vulnerable category, irrespective of the place from where they are coming, will be tested,” said Krishna collector A Md Imtiaz.
Imtiaz clarified every traveller from high incidence areas —irrespective of their mode of transport — will be kept under institutional quarantine for seven days. “Those who come from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chennai, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan by road, air or railway must undergo seven days of institutional quarantine. Home quarantine is a must for others from low incidence areas, including Hyderabad,” he said, adding that foreign returnees must undergo 14 days of institutional quarantine.
So far, around 6,000 persons who returned from high incidence areas have been quarantined in the district. “Restricted entry was allowed till June 1. So we knew exactly how many people came on what day. Most of the travellers were migrants who came in buses after proper communication between us and the State that sent them here,” the collector added. However, after the fresh relaxations on travel restrictions, it has now become difficult to ensure that people from high incidence areas were quarantined, he added.
The collector explained further:
“When a person enters the state by road, officers at the checkpost verifies his/her details with the help of Aadhaar numbers. The person’s swab samples is collected and he/she is either directed to undergo institutional or home quarantine. Those at quarantine camps are tracked by ANMs to ensure that no procedure is skipped.” For those in home quarantine, ANMs visit them everyday, logs of which are recorded in ANM-APHEALTH portal.
The details are also shared with police stations concerned. People above the age of 60, pregnant and lactating women, children below 10 years and persons suffering from a terminal illness should be kept under home quarantine. However, conducting tests on people in vulnerable and comorbidity categories, is a must, he added.