The Karnataka government on Wednesday decided to conduct random testing on slum dwellers, vendors and bill collectors at markets, delivery and courier boys among others, aimed at effective surveillance following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.
"In view of the recent increase of COVID 19 cases and to ensure effective surveillance, it is hereby directed that random testing using RT-PCR pooled sample technique be done for certain category of persons," the circular issued by the Additional Chief Secretary, (Health and Family Welfare Department) Jawaid Akhtar said.
The category of people include slum dwellers, vendors or bill collectors in malls, supermarkets, markets and footpaths, and delivery boys of food chains and couriers, it said, adding that preference should be given to include persons above 50 years of age and those with co-morbidities.
Those likely to come in contact with the maximum number of persons in markets and malls should be included in the sample as per the capacity of the districts, which should be inclusive of samples collected by routine testing as per protocols issued previously, the circular said.
The Commissioner, BBMP (Bengaluru civic body) and Deputy Commissioners of districts, in consultation with the local expert committee, will identify the persons and locations from which random samples are to be collected, it added.
On Wednesday, the COVID-19 death toll in Karnataka breached the 100 mark as the state reported eight new fatalities and 204 cases, taking the total number of infections to 7,734.