COVID-19: Ward-level committees constituted for triaging, emergency response

The government has decided to constitute Ward Decentralised Triage and Emergency Response (DETER) Committee for COVID-19 management.

The goal is to ensure hospitalisation of COVID-19 patients is not delayed and those who require oxygen find support within 2 hours.

An order to this effect was issued by N. Manjunath Prasad, principal secretary, Revenue Department (Disaster Management) and member secretary of the State Executive Committee, on Friday.

The order stated that the objective of the WDC (Ward DETER Committees) was to strengthen government response and management through a decentralised system of disaster response.

These committees will run in coordination with the ward committees, volunteer residents’ welfare associations, civil society organisations and disaster support initiatives. The WDCs will act as Ward Disaster Management Cells (WDMC). Open-source technology platforms will be utilised to operationalise WDC functioning, and a suitable online platform will be used by the BBMP to support this.

The WDCs have been constituted to ensure that they become the first point of contact for those with COVID-19 in the ward, provide accurate information on actions and behaviours at each stage of the virus’ lifecycle, testing, home isolation, contact tracing, triaging (whether a person should be placed under home isolation, needs admission in stabilisation centres, or requires hospitalisation etc.).

The WDCs will also be responsible for resource mapping the ward – identifying general practitioners, mapping existing RWAs, colonies, apartments, slums, NGOs working in the public health sector, mobilise citizen volunteers, and upload all medical facilities, including Primary Health Centres, COVID-19 Care Centres, hospitals and nursing homes (including 30-bed facilities not being used for COVID-19 care), and testing centres.

The order added that to facilitate services, WDCs must implement the 3E strategy – efficient entry into hospitals facilitated by community triage services; efficient exit from hospitals by facilitating optimisation of bed turnover; and empower the hospitals, doctors and management with supportive supervision.

The ward-level triage centre will maintain data regarding persons in home isolation, in CCC, admitted in stabilisation centres/ hospitals/ ICUs. For the efficient exit strategy, the WDC should involve volunteers to support Arogya Mitras and hospital staff and audit beds thrice a day, prioritise admissions for those who need it the most, discharge patients with mild illness, update website in real time, and coordinate with other hospitals, step down hospitals, CCCs and family members.

Apart from this, the WDCs will be responsible for contact tracing and testing, identify cases under home isolation and offer support, ensure maximum vaccination coverage by holding vaccination drives, hyper-local IEC (information-education-communication) on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, using pulse oximeter, prone position to improve oxygen levels etc. The printed IEC material in multiple languages should be distributed to all grocery stores in the ward.

To take up all these activities, a command and control centre should be established at the ward level, which should be equipped with call centre, IEC material, posters, vaccination related information booklets, oxygen concentrators and medical equipment required for triage services.

Functions of the Ward Decentralised Triage and Emergency Response (DETER) Committees (WDCs):

• To become first point of contact for those tested positive for COVID-19

• Ensure COVID-19 appropriate behaviour, contact tracing and testing

• Support home isolation, minimize hospital load

• Mobilization of resources and community volunteers, ensure availability, accessibility and proper utilisation of resources and medical supplies in the ward – general practitioners, masks, pulse oximeters, essential medicines, oxygen

• Achieve universal vaccination

• Connect with hearse and crematoria teams

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 3:26:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/covid-19-ward-level-committees-constituted-for-triaging-emergency-response/article34513005.ece

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