Coronavirus | Strategy revised to contain infections spreading fast in rural areas, says TN Minister

Minister for Industries, Thangam Thennarasu, inspecting a newly- inaugurated COVID-19 care centre at M. Reddiyapatti in Virudhunagar district on Friday   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A total of 76 COVID-19 related deaths and 8,800 new positive cases in the last 21 days in Virudhunagar district have forced the administration to re-look strategies to contain COVID-19.

The infection is fast spreading in rural areas as people from villages keep moving to nearby towns every day for their work or purchases. Besides, a lot of people from several towns and cities have moved to their native villages due to the lockdown, Minister for Industries, Thangam Thennarasu told The Hindu.

Asymptomatic people were encouraged to remain in home isolation and almost 50% of them remained at home. “However, we find that home isolation was working only in urban areas, where people had adequate facilities -- separate rooms with separate toilets – in their houses to keep a person in isolation. This is not possible in rural areas where most people live in single bedroom houses,” the Minister said.

Besides, officials had difficulties in keeping tabs on as many as 2,398 patients as to whether they strictly remained in home quarantine.

“The district has 133 containment zones [three or more houses with positive patients in an area]. Though the police are effective in restricting the movement of people within the zones in urban areas, this is not possible in rural areas where there are multiple entrances / exists,” an official said.

“This could become a cause for spreading of the infection. Hence, we have changed the strategy in containing further spread of the infection by putting all asymptomatic patients in institutional quarantine facilities,” the Minister said.

Virudhunagar district has got seven functional COVID-19 care centres (CCC) with 686 patients. “We are planning to have 12 CCCs to increase the number of beds to accommodate all asymptomatic patients,” an official said.

Social stigma

Meanwhile, the reluctance of the village residents in getting tested for COVID-19 is also a cause of worry for the administration.

Stating that the people were still wary of social stigma and were not coming forward to get swab tests done, Mr. Thennarasu said that this was causing an impediment in early testing and early treatment to people.

The Minister added that door-to-door combing for fever cases would be done by workers from Anganwadis, the Revenue Department and local bodies for early detection of positive cases.

Early detection and early treatment can help in reducing the mortality rate, he said. The infection was highly virulent and the condition of patients worsens within a couple of days if left unattended, he cautioned.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 7:34:52 PM |

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