Strict home isolation monitoring strategy to be devised for Puducherry

Heightened vigil: A health worker lifting a swab for testing at the 24th Annual Book Fair Exhibition, in Puducherry on Sunday.  

A review of the recent progression of COVID-19 in the Union Territory has pegged the cause for the bulk of the new infections to a combination of factors — a flawed home isolation system and the lax screening of travellers from the neighbouring States.

Feedback from officials of various departments, who participated in a virtual review meet called by Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi at the Raj Nivas, said the lack of monitoring of those with a travel history to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala; the high attendance at family functions; visits to crowded places, and the non-adherence to home isolation guidelines were some of the key causes.

On the home isolation front, it was observed that symptomatic patients were triaged at the IGMCRI, and advised home isolation, instead of admission. Medical officers said many under home isolation meant further transmission among family contacts. It was also revealed that those under home isolation were not following guidelines, and were moving around, freely, making it difficult to keep a watch.

Ms. Bedi said a strict home isolation monitoring strategy would be devised, in consultation with the police. With workplaces, including healthcare institutions, also linked to new infections, the Lt. Governor instructed COVID-19 hospitals/care centres to strictly adhere to the SOPs, to stop the further spread of the infection.

Besides, as a result of non-adherence to testing norms, several primary contacts were not being tested when referred to the IGMCRI, since many of them were asymptomatic.

The lax enforcement of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour in crowded places was also among the contributing factors. All areas suggested by medical officers should be strictly watched, and COVID-19 norms must be strictly enforced in public places by the police, Ms. Bedi said.

Officials have flagged areas such as Kumaran Nagar and Pethuchettypet, which have been reporting more cases, indicating a higher transmission of the virus. An analysis of the situation in Puducherry on Saturday showed that of the 180 active cases, eight PHCs had reported over ten cases each. These were Lawspet, Reddiarpalayam, Muthialpet, Mudaliarpet, Kirumampakkam, Mettupalayam and Kosapalayam.

According to officials, some of the other PHCs that have been seeing more cases included Villianur, Kalapet, Odiansalai, Thavalakuppam, Thirubhuvanai and Murungapakkam. A mobile enforcement team has been asked to monitor sensitive spots.

Given the non-adherence to COVID-19 norms while travelling, attending functions or visiting crowded places, it was decided that people would be sensitised through reoriented IEC/awareness activities. The police would set up check-points.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:39:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/strict-home-isolation-monitoring-strategy-to-be-devised-for-puducherry/article33379883.ece

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