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South Africa returnee tests Covid positive, Chandigarh looks to scale up its vaccinations

The Health Department has confirmed he is Covid-19 positive. One of his family members and a domestic help also tested positive.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
Updated: November 30, 2021 11:51:04 am
While two family members have tested negative, the report of another family member is awaited.

A 39-year-old man, who returned from South Africa recently has tested positive for Covid, even as the UT administration looks at ways to ramp up its testing for the virus and increase the pace of vaccinations.

The 39-year-old man, a resident of Sector 36, had returned from South Africa on November 21 and was RT-PCR negative on arrival at the airport. He was quarantined at home on his arrival in Chandigarh and as per protocol, was tested again on Monday and it was confirmed by the health department that he is Covid positive.

One of his family member and domestic help have also positive for Covid. Two other family members are reported to be negative and the report of one family member is awaited. As per protocol, the man is currently kept in isolation in GMCH-32. According to Dr Suman Singh, Director of Health Services, samples of the positive cases have been sent for whole genome sequencing to NCDC, Delhi, to ascertain the variant/variant of concern (VoC), if any.

Meanwhile,a review meeting was held at the office of the Secretary of Health, Chandigarh, on Monday to discuss emergent issues related to Omicron, the new variant of concern. It was decided to increase Covid testing and vaccination in the city.

Eight new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Chandigarh on Monday (RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen), taking the total tally of cases in the UT to 65456. The total number of active cases is 58, the average of positive cases in the last seven days being 7 and the positivity rate on Monday being 0.80 per cent. The total number of samples tested in the last 24 hours was 1005.

Covid test of OPD patients at GMSH-16, Sub-District Hospitals of sectors 22, 45 and Manimajra and GMCH-32.

In case of admission, all patients will undergo a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and RT-PCR tests. For patients visiting OPDs, all symptomatic patients will undergo RT-PCR tests too. In the case of asymptomatic patients, the doctor concerned may recommend an RT-PCR test in addition to RAT. In case of emergency and serious patients, the doctor may immediately provide treatment/consultation and get the Covid test done at a later stage.

At Health and Wellness Centres, efforts will be made to start Covid testing for patients visiting OPDs. It was recommended that PGIMER should also increase Covid testing for patients coming for admission and to OPDs and testing data be uploaded on the portal.

Coronavirus test being conducted at an open space at Leisure Valley in Chandigarh’s sector 10 (Express Photo by Kamleshwar Singh)

Vaccination to be increased

Covid vaccination has proved to be effective against SARS-CoV2 variants of concern, reducing mortality and morbidity, so there will be activities to accelerate the pace of vaccination, especially for about those 1,80,000 people who have taken the first dose and have completed the mandatory gap but not yet taken their second dose. It was decided to take the assistance of NGOs, religious leaders, RWAs, market associations, and other related organisations to ensure early completion of the entire targeted population.

Hospital beds

GMCH-32 has a sufficient number of oxygenated and ventilator beds. In case the occupancy at GMCH-32 reaches about 80 per cent, the hospital in Sector 48 with 121 oxygenated beds (including 17 ventilator beds) will be opened. Similarly, GMSH-16 is also ready with a sufficient number of ventilator beds and oxygenated beds. Special arrangements have been made in Sector 45 hospital for children with a sufficient number of ventilator beds. The sub-district hospitals in Sector 22 and Manimajara are also prepared to take initial care of some patients.

Testing kits and medicines

A sufficient stock of testing kits is available with all the hospitals. Critical medicines suggested by the Ministry of Health have been procured and sufficient buffer stock is available.

Oxygen supply

Two new PSA oxygen plants of the capacity of 800 LPM have been recently installed at GMSH-16 and GMCH-32. Both will be functional by the third week of December. Oxygen supply in private hospitals will be reviewed. Three mini-Covid care centres are in a state of temporary closure and can be functional within two-three days.

The Director Health Services will appoint one nodal officer with each regional officer for the municipal elections and provide all required assistance in accordance with the directions of the State Election Commission and the prevailing ground situation at the particular point of time.

It was emphasised that the authorities must ensure enforcement of Covid protocols and strict measures of challan/fine for not wearing masks at public places and those not wearing masks should be asked to undergo Covid test.

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