A sudden spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases is observed here in the last 24 hours as 39 more persons have tested positive taking the tally to 156 in the district.

This, however, is the highest number of cases that have tested positive in 24 hours. Two days back also 10 cases tested positive. On Sunday night, the reports of 25 persons tested positive while a batch of another 14 persons tested positive on Monday evening. Now, the total number of positive cases here have witnessed a sharp rise to 156 of which 63 have been cured while seven of them had died.

Of these 39 new cases, 24 are from city’s fruit and vegetable Mandi, told Dr Vishwas Chaudhary, District Surveillance Officer. These 24 cases are from the contact history of Corona patients from Mandi who had earlier tested positive of which one had passed away during treatment in Delhi last week.

The fresh cases from Mandi have surfaced after pool testing was carried out there. There are three to four persons whose chain of contact is missing, said Chaudhary adding that the task of tracing out the contact history of the positive cases has begun.

The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Meerut on March 27 after a Khurja based businessman who had travelled from Amravati in Maharashtra tested positive. Thereafter nine persons in his contact history also tested positive and then cases started pouring in. But the sudden spurt in the cases has been witnessed in the last week after cases were reported from fruit and vegetable Mandi. A trader, Ramesh Chandra (62), had also passed away during his treatment in Delhi. Mandi is now emerging as a new hotspot of Corona in the district which has added to the concern of the health and administrative officials.

Mandi is a place where fruits and vegetables are bought from within and outside the district to be sold to the retailers. Hence there is a lot of rush in the Mandi where social distancing is not practised at all. To reduce the rush the administration had stopped the retailers from entering the Mandi and only vendors were allowed who otherwise used to purchase from retailers.

After the Corona cases surfaced from Mandi initially, strict regulations were put in place by the administration but gradually the situation is back to the same. It is crowded and people do not follow social distancing there, said a vendor on the condition of anonymity.

It is very easy to get infected in the Mandi because of the rush there. Sellers come there from other states and districts as well so the possibility of easy spread of the virus is always there.

Choudhary too admitted that the situation is alarming there and a new plan has to be prepared by the administration to deal with the situation in the Mandi. “Effective implementation of Lockdown is needed,” he said adding that the random screening of vendors has now been started by health teams that would be helpful in identifying more cases if there are so.

Pool testing is being carried out by health teams in Mandi which enabled them to identify these new 24 cases.

Mandi is the fifth location where 67 samples were taken under pool testing on Friday night and its result was declared in the last 24 hours.

Pool testing was also done in Lakhipura, Shastri Nagar, Zakir Colony and Transport Nagar localities here.