Surat: If the health authorities aren’t already hassled with asymptomatic cases, it’s the issue of disappearing travellers coming from outside the state giving them the nightmares. Patients are being dropped by bus operators ahead of the testing booth at the city’s entry point and these people reach the city in other private vehicles.
Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) teams caught 1,855 such patients between 1 am and 5 am on Saturday and after testing 34 were found positive of the virus. These people were coming to the city from Maharashtra but alighted outside the city limits from the private transport buses. According to health officials, a large number of positive people are coming from Maharashtra.
SMC has already issued a guideline of seven-day compulsory quarantine period for people entering the city from outside. It is suspected that crafty bus operators are adopting the escape route to help such patients avoid the testing at entry points and also bypass the compulsory quarantine rule. “Within a matter of four hours, these many people were found dropped outside the city limit before the checkpoint and of them 34 tested positive. We have formed four teams that will keep watch on patients being dropped outside the city. They will trace them and test them,” city municipal commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani told TOI.
SMC officials fear that the number of passengers being dropped before the checkpoint could be much higher. After getting down from the buses, these passengers either catch a rickshaw or take lift in trucks.
In the last 19 days, health teams found a total of 247 persons who have come to the city from outside positive of the virus. These persons were tested at entry points Kadodara (63), Palsana (66), airport (45), Jahangirpura (24), Sayan (23) and railway station (9). On Saturday itself, a total of 17 travellers from outside the city were found positive at the city bus station.
Meanwhile, to keep a check on the spread of the virus in the city SMC has formed a task force that will identify super-spreaders in different areas. Health teams have started taking actions in places where crowding is noticed.