Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh has started random testing of essential deliverymen and vendors, including milkmen, vegetable sellers and gas delivery agents, for coronavirus, making it the first Indian state to expand the scale of containment. In the process, the state health officials have collected 65 samples of milkmen, fruit and vegetable sellers and cooking gas vendors from a coronavirus red zone in Hapur district.

Essential deliverymen coronavirus testing in UP
A vegetable vendor in Agra had tested coronavirus positive.Representational Image/IANS

"'...we have started the testing for delivery boys in and around red zone. We may, later on, expand it to other areas of the district," The Times of India quoted Aditi Singh, DM, Hapur, as saying.

People involved in the delivery of essential services are at risk of coronavirus infection and the move to test them has come days after a two-member committee submitted its report recommending testing of street vendors.

"Only those vendors should be allowed in open who would test negative and vendors can carry a corona negative card with them," the committee led by Dr Surya Kant, head of respiratory medicine department and Dr Vivek Kumar, head of medicine department at King George Medical University suggested.

Milkman, vegetable vendor in Agra tested coronavirus positive

Last week, a vegetable vendor and a milkman had tested coronavirus positive in Agra district of Uttar Pradesh. Earlier, a medical store guy had also tested coronavirus positive in Agra. 

"I earn just about 9,000. Tomorrow if one of us is tested positive, we will all lose business. It's a good move to ensure only COVID-free people can roam around and supply vegetables. Just like me, there are milkmen, gas cylinder delivery boys. Our badge on Corona negative will inspire a lot of confidence among people," the TOI quoted Kamal, a vegetable vendor who was among the 65 people tested for coronavirus in Hapur.

Coronavirus cases in India have crossed 27,000-mark with nearly 900 deaths. In Uttar Pradesh, more than 1800 people have tested positive for coronavirus and over 29 have died due to the disease. Globally, the virus has killed more than two lakh people and infected over 2.5 million.