In an effort aimed at breaking the COVID-19 chain, the Coimbatore Corporation has strengthened the exercise to trace the contacts of persons who had tested positive.
Sources said, following instructions from Commissioner P. Kumaravel Pandian, the Corporation had deployed two employees in junior assistant rank to each of the 32 urban primary health centres for the exercise. Their job would be reach out to the positive persons, know about their workplace, other places they frequented and their travel history to identify primary and secondary contacts. After doing so, the junior assistants would pass on the information to the urban primary health centre concerned, from where people would get in touch with contacts to check if they had influenza-like infection.
Though the Corporation had conducted a similar exercise – tracing primary and secondary contacts – last year during the lockdown, this time it was a more challenging exercise, at least as far as tracing secondary contacts. The sources explained that to trace the primary contacts, the junior assistants would visit the workplace or the neighbourhood of positive persons and identifying such persons was easy. But to find out, for example, who had shared a table at a restaurant with the positive person or who had commuted with him in a bus was not easy.
The sources said the Corporation had also redeployed domestic breeding checkers to conduct door-to-door survey in the neighbourhood of positive persons to identify people with influenza-like infection. Once the checkers traced such persons, they would report to the primary health centre concerned from where a lab technician and nurse would go to the house of the person(s) with the influenza-like infection to collect samples. The checkers would also collect details of persons in the neighbourhood and leave details of the nurses or doctors at the urban primary health centre concerned.
Sources said that the objective behind the exercises was early identification of positive persons and effective steps to break the chain of infections.
On Wednesday, the Corporation collected 3,760 samples, conducted 55 fever camps and collected ₹61,800 as fine. The day also saw the civic body record 383 COVID-19 positive cases.
Hereafter, if a particular house had positive cases, the Corporation would stick a notice on it, stating that the house has been quarantined. There would be no barricades.
Till now, the civic body had quarantined a part of the street or the entire stretch even if one house had such cases. However, the earlier practice of barricading a part of or the entire street would be resorted to if the number of cases was spread across houses.