Taking into account the high chances of a spike in cases, the Health Department has launched an intensive campaign for COVID-19 containment in the district. The campaign with the motto ‘zero infection, zero transmission and zero death’ will follow a systematic action plan starting with augmented tests among a target population of 30,000. “We are expecting a surge in coming days since COVID-19 protocol was not properly followed in many parts during the local body elections. Then, there is also the threat of transmission from asymptomatic patients,” said Deputy DMO R. Sandhya.
While the number of tests will be increased, staff deployed in for election duty and others who were actively involved in the process will be given priority. The test will be conducted extensively among police personnel, polling officers, election agents, drivers, inter-State travellers and volunteers. The department will also strengthen surveillance at the settlements of migrant labourers, destitute homes and old age homes while tests will be extended to major markets and harbours in the district. “Five mobile units will be used for conducting tests. All PHCs will conduct tests for candidates, booth agents and other officials from the area. Swabs of all fever cases will be collected and contact tracing will be intensified.”
Re-tests will be conducted after recommended intervals and the contact list will be prepared on a war footing. A district-level Health team will conduct inspections at hospitals and private labs. The department has also instructed all hospitals in the district to strengthen infection control practices. “Another issue is family members of patients under home care not following the guidelines. Measures will be taken to ensure that they are following the protocol and reverse quarantine will be advised for all those belonging to vulnerable category. COVID-19 corner will be set up in all hospitals and follow-up will be ensured for all recovered patients,” she said.
NRIs and persons from other States will be asked to remain in quarantine for a particular time frame even if the antigen test is negative. “After seven days they should take the mandatory COVID-19 test.”
In three months
All the COVID-19 hospitals, first-line treatment centres and second-line treatment centres in the district will be be put on standby to tackle any possible situation. Lifestyle disease control mechanism of the department will be made more efficient and monthly review sessions will be held at different levels. “The idea is to bring the situation under control within three months. In the first month the cases will be brought down by 60% and in the next month the target will be 80%. By March we are hoping to achieve 100% control,” she added.