NAGPUR: A routine wedding on Saturday at Sawargaon in Narkhed taluka of Nagpur district turned special as officials of Primary Health Centre (PHC) descended on the venue Krishita Sabhagruha and conducted Rapid Antigen Test on everyone present including bride and groom. The priest, the cook and the drivers too were tested.
The action won praise from district collector Ravindra Thakare who said it was a good ‘local innovation’ that can be held as a role model and replicated elsewhere to check spread of Covid.
Dr. Vidyanand Gaikwad, taluka health official of the Narkhed, had the idea of conducting the tests at wedding venues. He said marriage events had become super spreaders in the ongoing second wave of corona in the district.
“We conducted 26 antigen tests at the venue and fortunately everyone was negative. The idea was to immediately isolate anyone found positive and take further precautions,” Gaikwad said.
“The visit to the wedding venue was planned with a dual purpose. First to check whether the Covid norms like wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and using sanitizers were being followed. Also, there should not be more than 50 persons at the wedding venue,” he said. “The second aim was to conduct antigen tests as there is mass mingling at weddings. The bride and groom especially are greeted by all. We wanted to ensure this marriage did not turn into a super spreader event,” he said.
The team, comprising Dr. Devendra Barai, Satish Mowade, Kumre, Jaybhaye and Dhurve first counselled the guests at the wedding venue then conducted the tests, said Dr. Gaikwad. He also followed rules strictly. “Apart from conducting tests, we also slapped a fine of Rs 6,000 on the parties as many of the guests were found without masks,” he said.
Last year, a health team under Dr Gaikwad had sanitized an entire wedding venue with sodium hypochlorite at Agra village.