Ernakulam’s mobility data points to overcrowding in public places

Mobility data analysed by the Health Department has revealed overcrowding in supermarkets, grocery shops, and pharmacy stores in Ernakulam.

The district health wing has suggested an increase in the working hours based on the inference that overcrowding could have occurred owing to time restrictions applicable to such facilities.

An increase in working hours may reduce crowd. Physical distancing and use of masks have to be ensured in public places to check the pandemic spread, with the help of the police and other enforcement agencies, according to an analysis of the COVID-19 situation in the district by the Health Department.

The health authorities had analysed community mobility reports prepared by Google to study movement trends across different categories of places that include groceries, super markets, and transit stations. N.K. Kuttappan, District Medical Officer, said that a concerted effort was required to check overcrowding in public places. It is being done by enforcement agencies, he said.

The Health Department has suggested stepping up testing in local bodies figuring in the ‘D’ category (TPR above 15%), while sentinel testing should be increased in areas in the ‘A’ category (TPR below 5%).

The district administration has decided to deploy mobile teams in local bodies with high TPR while focussing on persons likely to have increased social contacts.

The District Surveillance Unit has stated that the strategy of ‘test-isolate-treat’ and vaccination should go hand-in-hand to avoid increase in positive cases.

There will be an increase in post-COVID outpatient numbers in the coming four to eight weeks. “Respiratory infections associated with the disease may flare up, especially in this rainy season. The district has a robust system for post-COVID patient services,” said Dr. Kuttappan.

The analysis showed that the prevalence of the disease was high in the community. Other communicable diseases were also co-existing in society. So, utmost care should be given to patients so as to not miss out on other infections, it said.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:13:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/ernakulams-mobility-data-points-to-overcrowding-in-public-places/article35573778.ece

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