Door-to-door Covid-19 testing halts as field staff test positive

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The Sindh Health Department said on Friday it has temporarily suspended its door-to-door Covid-19 testing facility for Karachi due to a large number of field staff testing positive for the infection. The health department in a tweet said: “Our Home Testing service is suspended in #Karachi till Monday due to a large number of our on the ground team members testing positive for Covid-19.” “We’re in the process of recruiting new team members to make sure that we are able to provide the service again.” It is to note that the testing facility for District South was temporarily suspended last week after more than 25 field staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Meeran Yousuf, who is the media coordinator for the provincial Health and Population Welfare Department, said that the service was halted last week but that it was now functioning, albeit on a limited scale. She added that it was routine for all field staff to be tested for the virus. “Teams at the district health office (DHO) were working in three shifts: morning, afternoon and evening. However, the entire operation had to be halted for a couple of days after more than 25 members tested positive. “That essentially only left us with enough people to cover one shift, it just wasn’t possible for them to carry out testing in the same manner.” She maintained that some of the staff that had the space to self-isolate at home were told to do so, while others were placed in isolation centres. The countrywide tally of coronavirus cases has jumped to 165,062 after 4,944 new infections were detected in Pakistan over the past 24 hours while 136 more people succumbed to the deadly disease.According to data released by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 61,678 cases have been detected in Punjab so far, 62,269 in Sindh, 20,182 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 8,998 in Balochistan, 9,941 in Islamabad, 769 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 1,225 in Gilgit Baltistan.