On Thursday, a top government official said that Rajasthan will now be focussing on ‘super spreaders’ to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
As per data released by the government, out of all 33 districts in Rajasthan, Jaipur is the worst hit with the highest number of coronavirus cases (1,099). So far some 30,761 samples have been taken in Jaipur and the COVID-19 death toll has reached 52.
After 10 fruit and vegetable vendors (super spreaders) were found to test positive for the highly infectious virus in the city, the district administration has aggressively started taking random samples.
“Our major focus is now on super spreaders such as vegetable vendors, dairy booths, grocery and medical shops – these are the direct points of interaction. Many incidents in past few days have come up where the vegetable vendor had spread the infection,” said Ajitabh Sharma, Principal Secretary, department of energy and nodal officer for Jaipur.
He said that contact tracing is a challenge in such cases because vendors are mobile.
“Aggressive random sampling has been started to check super spreaders with vegetable vendors being the first to be checked since they are mobile. Subsequently, we will cover dairy booths, grocery and medical shops which are stationary,” Sharma said.
The officer said that the chances of contraction become more as a large number of people come in contact with the vendors and tracing becomes difficult because they have no fixed routes. More than 150 first contacts of super spreaders have been quarantined. The administration has now devised a way to monitor the vendors.
“In view of this, the number of vendors has been limited for every ward and they have to wear caps issued by Municipal Corporation, wear masks and carry sanitizer,” he said.
In a bid to mitigate risk, the number of vendors has also been limited to 10 in each ward. In order to differentiate them, they have provided with caps of different colours. "Out of around 3,000 vendors, 1,050 are now permitted to sell. Those selling inside the walled city will wear multi-coloured cap and those outside will wear white,” he said.