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Amid Omicron scare, Karnataka govt orders quarantine of primary, secondary contacts of Covid patients

“Central war room, BBMP along with zonal and assembly constituency level war rooms and all district war rooms need to be re-activated and made fully functional to closely monitor and supervise the activities,” a state government order reads.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
December 22, 2021 6:21:41 pm
Health care workers conducting tests in Bangalore, India. (File)

A day after the Union Health Ministry asked the states to reactivate Covid war rooms and enhance restrictions and surveillance in the backdrop of rising cases of Omicron, the Karnataka government Wednesday directed the health officials, deputy commissioners and district surveillance officials to steadfastly track, trace and quarantine primary and secondary contacts of persons infected by Covid-19.

Currently, around 300 Coivd cases are being reported daily in Karnataka and the Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is between 0.25 per cent and 0.3 per cent. As on date, 19 cases of Omicron have been detected in Karnataka.

An order signed by T K Anil Kumar, principal secretary (health and family welfare department) read, “In this context, to sustain the gains achieved so far in surveillance, containment efforts and to make best efforts to prevent occurrence of the third wave of Covid infections in the state, it is necessary to trace, track and quarantine the primary and secondary contacts of Covid-19 positive persons more effectively.”

He added, “The primary and secondary contacts are to be identified within 24 hours of reporting of Covid positive cases. The primary contacts should be tested on the first day and again on the eighth day and home quarantined for seven days from the date of Covid positive reporting.”

On international travellers, the order read, “International travellers from high-risk countries need to be quarantined for seven days from the date of their arrival until the follow-up and repeat RT-PCR test on the 8th day. If the primary and secondary contacts also test positive, they are to be treated and managed as per the state Covid protocol.”

Public Health Inspecting Officers (PHIO), Community Health Officers (CHO) and ASHA workers involved in contract tracing, quarantining and supervising home isolation were directed to continue with their work.

“The districts and BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) shall post dedicated and full-time persons separately for contact tracing and quarantine/home isolation watch immediately. The tracing, tracking and quarantine activity conducted, has to be reported in the Contact Tracing and Quarantine Watch applications, which shall be activated, with necessary re-orientation to all the staff from BBMP and district health authorities. Further, all Covid-19 positive persons need to be triaged by a medical officer — PHC (primary health centre) and team on ground as per prevailing instructions (physical triaging). Over and above this, tele-triaging (over phone) shall be re-initiated at state level and triaging information would be recorded in Index application (BBMP) and state line list (rest of the districts),” the order copy further read.

The government has also made it clear that if the need is felt, additional teams can be deployed by the BBMP.

“Central war room, BBMP along with zonal and assembly constituency level war rooms and all district war rooms need to be re-activated and made fully functional to closely monitor and supervise the activities,” the order read.

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