Punjab Covid contact tracing among poorest in country - ECAS Punjab

Punjab Covid contact tracing among poorest in country

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Vishav Bharti

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 24

Punjab's Covid contact tracing, crucial for the containment of the disease, is one of the poorest in the country. At present, 4.4 contacts per positive case are being traced, much lower than the national average of 10 contacts.

A two-member Central expert team, while analysing the state records earlier this month, had found the districts had varied numbers for contact tracing, ranging from 1.6 in SAS Nagar to 4.8 in Ludhiana.

Central team recommendations

  • External supervision team in each district to check surveillance, contact tracing, quarantine at block level in hotspots
  • Involve community medicine department of medical colleges; allocate each medical college two-three districts
  • Increase contact tracing for early diagnosis and prompt control measures. Panchayati Raj Institution be encouraged to increase community participation

It was found that in eight districts, including Sangrur, SAS Nagar, Muktsar, SBS Nagar, Moga, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka and Bathinda, less than 4 contacts per positive case were being traced.

There are just two districts Gurdaspur and Ferozepur where more contacts per positive case were being traced than the national average. Gurdaspur topped with 11.6 contacts, followed by Ferozepur with 10.9.

The Central team in its presentation had asked Punjab to improve contact tracing. During the field visit to micro-containment zone Mubarakpur, it was found "the zone was without clear demarcation, the barricading was removed, house-to-house survey and contact tracing wasn't complete and testing of only the primary household contacts was done".

All positive cases were in home isolation. Community based communication on advocacy of hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, wearing of masks/face covers had been done by the healthcare workers verbally during the camps organised earlier, however, no such posters or other material was found.

As per the healthcare workers, people showed resistance and refused to get screened. Interaction with the sarpanch revealed he had a poor perception about the health system at the tertiary level and therefore encouraged villagers to undergo home isolation. He was even encouraging people to not entertain healthcare workers for sampling.

Similarly, during a visit to another containment zone — New Durgapur in Habowal — it was found households with positive cases were not marked in the map. Strict perimeter control was not followed

as there was movement

of people for non-essen

tial purposes.

Interaction with the people, including the municipal councillor of the area, revealed people were unaware of their area being a containment zone.

from The Tribune https://ift.tt/32Ypdmg

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