Coronavirus | BBMP organising 6,000 volunteers to assist in contact tracing

Drones were used to track down people in Padarayanapura and J.J. Nagar.

Drones were used to track down people in Padarayanapura and J.J. Nagar.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

With the increase in COVID-19 cases, contact tracing is proving to be a nightmare for the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP). On Thursday, Bengaluru recorded 889 cases. To undertake the mammoth task of tracking down each and every primary and secondary contact of patients, the civic body has deployed 26 probationary tahsildars, who will monitor the situation in Assembly constituencies in the city.

The BBMP is also trying to organise a small army of 6,000 volunteers who will assist in contact tracing. V. Anbu Kumar, BBMP’s Special Commissioner (Administration) who is overseeing this task, told The Hindu that the first batch of 143 volunteers was inducted on Thursday.

“The list of 6,000 volunteers has been submitted by the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences and includes nurses, paramedical staff and medical students,” he said, and added that the civic body was looking to induct at least 2,000 volunteers on the field soon. They will be deputed to assist doctors and medical professionals in public health centres to identify contacts.

The surge in cases is threatening to overwhelm the city’s resources. In June, 4,904 positive cases were reported. Of these, the total active cases stood at 4,476 as per the July 1 war room report. The report also stated that officials had been able to identify 2,245 primary contacts and 6,350 secondary contacts. Of the primary contacts, 902 are under quarantine while 1,343 had completed quarantine. Among the secondary contacts, 1,273 were in quarantine while 5,077 had completed quarantine.

Mr. Anbu Kumar said that once a person tests positive, it is imperative that contact tracing begins immediately. “The key to checking the spread is to identify contacts and immediately place them under home quarantine. We need experienced officials to identify possible contacts, stamp their hands with the seal, put up posters outside their residence or shift them to quarantine facilities,” he said and added that the information of these contacts is then shared with the Home Quarantine task force, who will monitor them and ensure that they follow the norms.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 9:32:55 AM |

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