Andhra Pradesh

Vizag officials tracking down foreign returnees

So far, 1,470 foreign returnees have been advised home quarantine

Ever since the first positive COVID-19 case was recorded in the city about a week ago, the challenging task for the district administration has been to track down foreign returnees.

So far, 1,470 foreign returnees have been identified and all of them have undergone two rounds of screening and have been advised home quarantine.

But, according to District Collector V. Vinay Chand, the State government on Monday night released a fresh list of 2,330 foreign returnees. “We are now checking this list, as there may be a duplication. After cross-checking of names is completed, we will monitor those who have been left out and, if required, quarantine them at home or at hospitals, depending on the circumstances,” he said.

Teams in place

To monitor the foreign returnees at the village level, a five-member team has been formed for the 738 village secretariats.

Each team will comprise village volunteers, ANM, beat constable and the panchayat secretary, who will act as the village-level special officer.

At the ward level, five-member teams had been formed for all the 601 ward secretariats. “The teams will check on all the foreign returnees and those who have come in contact with them in the ward. Based on their compliance for home quarantine and health condition, the committee will act. If required, they will be shifted to the quarantine facilities,” said the District Collector.

Both the village-level committee and the ward-level committee would be monitored by the mandal-level committee comprising one sub-inspector, MPDO and tahsildar on a daily basis.

Committees

This apart, 20 committees had been formed comprising experts from various fields and academicians to monitor each task identified to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committees have been given specific tasks such as field surveillance, laboratory surveillance, hospital surveillance and cluster surveillance, said Mr. Chand.

Challenge for the city

Since Visakhapatnam is a city with many essential services, clampdown had become a challenging task. Both the ports such as VPT and Gangavaram had been declared as essential services and this apart there were a number oil refineries, process industries and pharmaceutical industries, and running of each unit is important.

“Thousands of people are employed and the units cannot be stopped. But we have asked them to work with minimum workforce in shifts following the protocol of social distancing,” said the Collector.

“We have also told them to monitor the health conditions and report any suspect cases immediately. Any failure or lacunae in this, the units will be hauled up,” Mr. Chand added.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 9:38:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/vizag-officials-tracking-down-foreign-returnees/article31154222.ece

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