Ahmedabad district authorities on Wednesday launched a ‘mobile testing van’ to carry out testing in rural areas of the district.

With a surging number of cases within the walled city, the testing van is a way to identify suspected cases from rural areas without bringing them the city for testing, thus reducing their risk of infection.

“In a bid to increase the detection and control the spread of coronavirus, a Covid-19 Mobile Testing Van, the first-of-its-kind in Gujarat, was launched today in Ahmedabad district for on-the-spot collection of samples of local people at village and Taluka level,” CMO Gujarat had tweeted.

The van was launched at the Ahmedabad District Panchayat office by Arun Mahesh Babu, Ahmedabad District Development Officer (DDO). According to an official release, Ahmedabad is the first district to provide such a service for its rural population.

The testing van carrying lab technicians will bring testing to the doorsteps of the rural population. Technicians will be taking the customized mobile testing van to different taluka centres in the district. There they will collect samples of patients who are deemed as suspected cases of Covid-19.

The samples collected will then be tested at the BJ Medical college in the city.

Ahmedabad city authorities as well are adopting the same strategy of proactive testing and surveillance to combat the pandemic in the city. In a recent interview with BusinessLine, Vijay Nehra, chief of the civic body, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had said that their strategy was to proactively detect as many cases as possible before the lockdown ends to have a minimum number of active cases in the general population after the lockdown.

“Of the total reported cases, about 70 per cent are proactively identified through our intensive surveillance and testing,” Nehra had said.

Ahmedabad on Wednesday had reported 128 new cases of Covid-19 taking the total to 1,487.