Health workers have begun conducting rapid antigen tests in low and very low risk areas of Colombo and will eventually test in all areas of the city to identify any undetected clusters as Colombo continues to report the highest number of positive patients, a senior official from the Health Ministry told Daily Mirror yesterday.
While almost all the high risk areas have now been tested and identified, health workers have now shifted their focus on the low risk areas, including the residential areas to identify possible clusters.
1000 PCR tests and a further 500 antigen tests are being conducted daily, including in high rise buildings such as apartment complexes.
Moving on, health officials, when visiting these low risk areas will invite one member per family to undergo the antigen test and if there are people who test positive, then all the residents of those areas will undergo PCR tests.
Presently six PCR teams have been deployed in Colombo to conduct the tests and each area will undergo an estimated 250 tests.
"All these weeks we were concentrating in areas where there were a large number of patients detected. Now we are going into the low risk areas where there have been no cases or only one or two cases reported. If we find a few cases in these areas then the residents of those areas will undergo PCR tests," the official said.
Presently the biggest obstacle facing the Health officials was a reluctance from residents to get themselves tested for the virus. Officers on ground said that when they went into areas, especially high rise buildings, it was difficult to convince people to get themselves tested.
"Earlier when we went with 1000 PCR kits, there were around 3000 people lined up.but now when we go with 1000, there are hardly even 600, despite police support," officers on ground said."this trend will not help us eliminate the virus," officers said. (JAMILA HUSAIN)