KOZHIKODE: To fight the poor testing rate, Azhiyur grama panchayat has decided to make Covid testing mandatory for parents if they want their children to get school admission. The panchayat authorities hope the decision which is backed by the education department will bring people in large numbers to the testing camps.
Azhiyur has had a test positivity rate (TPR) of 32-35 per cent for the past one month. "We arrange tests daily for 100 people but only around 40 turn up. Only symptomatic people appear now and a majority of them turn positive. Reluctance to undergo the tests keeps the TPR high," said panchayat president Ayisha Ummer.
The panchayat has 17 government, aided and private schools. According to panchayat secretary T Shahul Hameed, the reluctance to undergo Covid tests began after the protocol of 17-day home quarantine for positive people came into force. "People may not want to spend these many days in the confines of their homes. The panchayat's poor testing rate was mentioned in the district collector's review meeting also. Hence, we came up with the new idea. Sarva Shiksha Kerala (SSK) under the education department has welcomed it," he said.
According to the plan, parents can produce RT-PCR or antigen test result certificates during school admission.
The panchayat is conducting RT-PCR tests on every Monday and Friday and antigen tests in the rest of the days. As many as 23 persons died of Covid in the panchayat, of whom 13 died during the second wave. It has had 1,800 Covid positive persons till now, of whom 191 are active cases.
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