Local bodies adopt innovative ways to woo people for Covid testing

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 27, 2021

Malappuram reports highest number of new cases

Local self-government bodies are trying out different ways to bring around sceptics among the target population to undergo Covid testing. Biriyani, chicken and prize money are some of the give-aways offered by a panchayat ward in Kerala's Malappuram district where the test positivity rate (TPR) rate rules high.

Sakia P Nazir, a member of the first ward of Keezhuparambu Panchayat in the district, is reported to have offered one full chicken broast to those coming for testing. Another colleague of hers has offered free biryani.

Positive response

The panchayat was in D category with one of the worst TPRs (above 15 per cent) for the last one month. With the offer going viral on social media, it did not take much time to taste success. At least 271 people are reported to have volunteered themselves for testing in Kallingal and Mambad panchayats, just for the love of the delectable dishes on offer. The authorities expected notmore than 200 people. The higher participation even led to the shortage of antigen kits and hence, the panchayat has decided to postpone the experiment to a later date.

In another ward of the same panchayat, the district unit of the trade body Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithy has come out with an offer of prize money of ₹5,000 and a family pack of biryani, which was sponsored by a recreation club. The winners have been selected through a draw of lots by using their registration in the application for Covid testing.

Since several local bodies in the district are in the D category, the administration has taken strict measures to control the virus spread by closing down roads and bridges. Number of new cases as well as TPR continue to be high in the northern districts of Kerala. Malappuram reported the highest number of new cases with 1,799 cases on Monday.

Published on July 27, 2021

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