Intensify focus on non-containment areas, MHA tells Puducherry

 thehindu.com  09/17/2020 00:02:25 

While acknowledging Puducherrys success in bringing down the positivity rate from nearly 40% to around 7% through scaled-up testing, contact tracing and containment measures, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has instructed the authorities to intensify focus on areas outside the COVID-19 containment zones, which account for 65% of the fresh cases.

At a review meeting held for Puducherry and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the MHA recommended that areas outside the existing containment zones be monitored with equal diligence, as two-thirds of new infections were being reported from the non-containment areas.

The MHAs three-pronged plan also includes putting in place a robust mechanism for early detection and treatment of cases and carrying out physical visits for surveillance of home quarantine/isolation patients, in addition to IVRS oversight.

The Ministry has called for sustaining a testing level of 5,000 per day.

Treatment protocols would soon be framed to bring down the case fatality rate based on the death analysis report and the recommendations of experts from ICMR. According to mortality analysis data, 50% of deaths were occurring within 48 hours of admission, indicating either poor early detection and delayed arrival or poor treatment. Surveillance has been strengthened in areas under six PHCs where incidence of deaths is higher. The authorities have been asked to sustain enforcement of safety compliance among the public, ensure continuity of non-COVID care and to adhere to the protocol for cremation/burial of bodies of victims.

With the festive season around the corner, the formation of a COVID enforcement team, comprising police, revenue and municipality personnel, is being mooted to prevent violations of safety norms in public places, Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi said.

The team will be on the field round the clock for strict enforcement of social distancing in public places, functions and social gatherings.

The administration is also developing a mobile application similar to the one used in Thanjavur and Chengalpattu. A single-point IT-driven control room is being established to integrate patient treatment information from all hospitals and convey the information to family members through mobile app/audio call. The Lt. Governor observed that till such time the app is developed, an Information Desk be established to manually convey the patient treatment information to the family members.

Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar, A. Anbarasu, Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner and T. Arun, Health Secretary were among the officials who attended the briefing with MHA.

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