Strengthen surveillance, contact tracing: State to districts officials

Strengthen surveillance, contact tracing: State to districts officials

Kolkata: In wake of a rising number of daily Covid cases in some pockets of Bengal, the State Health department has asked various district health officials to strengthen surveillance and contract tracing in areas where Covid infection rate has gone up suddenly.

The number of daily cases has slightly gone up in the state in the past couple of days. The daily infection on Thursday stood at 833. On Wednesday the number remained at 867. State on Tuesday saw 726 new cases from what remained at 690 on Monday.

Chief Medical Officers of health in the districts have been directed to ensure that contract tracing is properly done where the Covid cases are found. If any place sees a sudden spike in Covid cases, the matter should be brought under the notice of the Health department.

Meanwhile, the added areas in Kolkata particularly in Borough X and XII under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have witnessed a rise in COVID cases, as per report by KMC. About 242 positive cases have been reported within the KMC area on Friday with 200 of them being symptomatic.

The areas in the city that have a good number of Covid positive cases include areas like Jadavpur, Parnasree in Behala, Netaji Nagar, Garfa, East Jadavpur, Kasba, Ballygunge, Anandapur, Bansdroni etc. With 37 people testing Covid positive, Borough XII has the highest number of cases while Borough X has 35 cases.

Interestingly, 150 of the persons who have tested positive have already taken their second dose while 15 persons have had their first dose. Among the persons who have tested positive after the second dose, 122 are asymptomatic while 28 are having symptoms.

It may be mentioned here that the state government has already asked the district administrations to ensure that people follow the Covid protocols and wear masks. All the bordering districts have been alerted to be extra cautious to check Covid infection. There should be proper surveillance on the people entering from other districts. Various north Bengal districts have also been asked to maintain adequate surveillance as a large number of from the northeastern states enter Bengal.

Daily infection is still higher in some districts which include North 24-Parganas, Kolkata, South 24-Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and some places in north Bengal as well. According to experts, the Covid third wave may not appear earlier, as was predicted, but the infection rate may go up whenever people flout Covid norms.

During Puja days, people did not follow Covid protocols in various places.

In a bid to strengthen the health infrastructure in the rural areas, the state Health department has introduced 'community participation' under which village health workers and local youths can be trained to deal with any unforeseen situation. The main objective is to bring more manpower under the fold of health service mechanisms in the far off districts. The district health officials have also been asked to utilise the ASHA and Anganwadi workers so that they can visit door to door and conduct a survey. They will submit the data to the district health officials.

Meanwhile, Kali Puja organisers in the city will lay more emphasis on rituals rather than pomp and grandeur with the rise in Covid cases following Durga Puja.

"We are still awaiting guidelines from the state government but we expect that there will be stricter regulations during Kali Puja. The pandal, idol and lighting will be kept simple to avoid attracting a lot of people. There will not be any big stage or cultural shows this time. Visitors won't be allowed inside the pandal and we'll have volunteers to ensure that everyone around wears a mask," said a member of Naba Yubak Sangha popularly known as Fata Kesto Kali Puja in Kolkata.

Barisha Santi Sangha in Behala, in south Kolkata said that the pandal will be off-limits for devotees and there will be volunteers to ensure that norms of physical distancing are strictly followed.

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