Ernakulam Collector lays out strategy to contain COVID-19 spread in district

The strategy to contain COVID-19 spread in the district would involve aggressive testing of symptomatic people and primary contacts of patients, since this approach had resulted in bringing down the number of positive cases in the Aluva and Keezhmad clusters where nearly all primary contacts were successfully traced, District Collector S. Suhas said at a briefing on Tuesday.

The upward trend in the number of cases in the West Kochi cluster continued to remain a challenge due to the area’s population density and about 1,500 tests were being conducted there every week, said the Collector. Each primary contact of a patient from the area might have about seven or eight people living in the same house, possibly leading to a spread of the disease.

While the situation in Chellanam had almost normalised in the past few days, a sudden spike recently called for caution and aggressive testing in Wards 7 and 8 of the panchayat, he said.

Cluster containment strategy

The cluster containment strategy, which involves contact tracing, active case finding, setting up of a first-line treatment centre, intense testing and reverse quarantine, has been successful in Edathala, Kadungaloor and Choornikkara as well. About two weeks is the time period necessary to bring the situation under control in a cluster, which is considered to be contained if no locally transmitted case is reported for seven days. Another two weeks would be necessary to see a downward trend in the number of cases in the district, said Mr. Suhas.

About 1,500 tests are being done daily at the government-level, while an additional 2,000 tests are conducted at private facilities. Antigen tests would be scaled up to arrive at about 5,000 tests per day, he added.

A well-oiled system was in place to monitor and shift patients as well as track bed and ICU availability, said the Collector. A real-time ambulance map, that enables live tracking, is available, besides a database of all patients.

About 79 COVID-19 patients are currently being treated at home through telemedicine facilities. Eight private hospitals were currently working with the district administration and 43 patients were being treated at private facilities, he said. At the Medical College Hospital, 224 patients have been admitted. A total of 10,149 beds have been set aside for COVID treatment. Of the 1,360 ICUs available, 658 are currently in use. The district has 394 ventilators, of which 94 are in use.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 1:09:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ernakulam-collector-lays-out-strategy-to-contain-covid-19-spread-in-district/article32328636.ece

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