Local bodies in Kerala’s Ernakulam yet to gear up for possible Omicron spread

Local bodies in Ernakulam are yet to have a plan of action to tackle the situation emerging out of a possible detection of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

With the initial role being confined to the Health department, civic bodies are awaiting directions from the Department of Local Self Governments on the way forward. Senior department officials said they had not received any specific communication on the plan of action for addressing the scenario.

However, ward-level and rapid response teams can be regrouped to carry out the plan at the ground level. Ward-level samitis had turned inactive in local bodies, where the number of active cases of SARS-CoV-2 had gone down considerably, they said.

Surveillance is mainly focused on the Cochin International Airport as part of screening those coming to the district from ‘at-risk’ countries. The District Medical Office said a mechanism was already in place to ensure that those arriving from abroad and high-risk nations strictly followed the new quarantine regulations.

Those coming from high-risk nations have to undergo seven-day quarantine, followed by a seven-day self-observation, while those from other nations have to be on 14-day self-observation.

The Health Department has informed that travellers can go into self-quarantine at their homes without coming into contact with the other family members. Arrangements have been made for RT-PCR tests after the seventh day of quarantine at the nearby primary health centre or taluk hospital free of cost.

Home quarantine essentially means room quarantine, and those arriving from abroad should confine themselves to a bath-attached room. Contact tracing will be done once anyone is tested positive. The Health Department will initiate follow-up action based on guidelines prescribed by the State and Central governments, according to officials.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 11:08:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/local-bodies-in-keralas-ernakulam-yet-to-gear-up-for-possible-omicron-spread/article37847603.ece

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