Rajasthan’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 1270 on Saturday morning after 41 new Covid-19 cases were reported from eight of the 33 districts, the state health department’s data showed.
Bharatpur had the highest number of cases at 27, Kota had five, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer had two each, Banswara, Jaisalmer and Nagour had one each, according to the data at 9am.
The state’s capital also reported two deaths and news agency ANI said one of the patients had chronic kidney disease and the other had acute diabetes.
Rajasthan on Friday became the first state in the country to carry out rapid testing for Covid-19.
Rohit Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary of medical and health department, said the test will be done at a large scale to assess the prevalence of Covid-19 in hotspots—both in containment as well as buffer zones around the clusters.
Rajasthan with 12 of its 33 districts features in the list of top five states in terms of the number of hot spot districts. Others are Tamil Nadu with 22 of its 37 districts in the ‘red zone’, Maharashtra with 14 of its 36, Uttar Pradesh with 13 of 75, and Andhra Pradesh with 11 of 13 districts.
“The tests will be done at designated points on people with symptoms and super spreaders ie persons who are likely to be in contact with multiple persons like vegetable vendors, kirana store owner, etc,” Singh said.
The official said in addition to rapid testing, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based tests for coronavirus infection will continue to be done in an aggressive manner in containment zones across the state.
“A judicious mix of PCR based testing and rapid testing will help Rajasthan to control and manage Covid-19 in an efficient manner,” Singh said.
Rajasthan started conducting rapid testing for Covid-19 with the arrival of 10,000 testing kits in the state on Friday. This test is not a confirmatory test but helps in quickly isolating the person tested positive so that the spread is prevented.
The state’s chief minister Ashok Gehlot has said that the lockdown has not just affected every section of the society but the government as well.
“The government will also have to take austerity measures and manage finances accordingly because there is no revenue collection. When economic activities will start from April 20 under modified lockdown, revenue will start coming,” he said on Friday.
He said Jaipur’s SMS Hospital is also participating in research on plasma therapy.
Gehlot also held a meeting through video conferencing with district collectors and gave them necessary directions with regards to the guideline of modified lockdown and opening of offices and starting of industrial activities from April 20.
He said wearing mask is mandatory in the state and protocol related to social distancing must be followed everywhere.
India reported 991 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 14,378, and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry on Saturday morning.