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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Rampant negligence in testing, containing at Bapu Dham: Councillor

“One big reason is because they have not tested every member of the family which has been infected,” the councillor says.

Written by Chahat Rana | Chandigarh | Published: May 21, 2020 12:13:13 pm
Rampant negligence in testing, containing at Bapu Dham: Councillor Until now, more than 130 patients out of the total 202 diagnosed in the UT are from Bapu Dham Colony, but despite efforts, the chain of infection continues to progress, with new cases cropping up from the colony every day. (Representational image)

As the number of COVID-19 patients diagnosed from the Bapu Dham Colony keeps increasing, the councillor for the area states that there has been rampant negligence in containing the infection, with minimal testing and quick discharge of potentially infected patients back to the colony.

“They do not test all family members at once. They wait for them to develop symptoms and then test. By then these people spread it to others because they all stay in such close proximity,” says Dalip Sharma, the councillor for the hotspot and containment region.

Until now, more than 130 patients out of the total 202 diagnosed in the UT are from Bapu Dham Colony, but despite efforts, the chain of infection continues to progress, with new cases cropping up from the colony every day.

“One big reason is because they have not tested every member of the family which has been infected,” the councillor says.

Indeed, there is a pattern where some family members test positive weeks after certain members tested positive for the disease, until which the disease spreads further to other community contacts.

Three weeks ago, 12 members from the same household in phase 1 of the colony were picked up by the health department for testing while a few others were left behind.

While some members tested positive and have subsequently recovered and have been discharged as well, two members who were not tested earlier, developed symptoms after weeks and tested positive two days ago.

“This is a set pattern. They test a few people and they don’t test others who have been in close proximity until much later and the chain continues. This could have been contained so easily with aggressive testing and quarantining,” says Sharma, adding that members from containment zone should have been relocated to government facilitated quarantine spaces instead of leaving them holed up in close quarters.

“We follow government guidelines strictly and test those who develop symptoms as fast as possible or those who are at high risk. There is no negligence in testing,” said an official from Health department, refusing to comment on why family members of positive patients were tested in batches when all of them lived in close proximity with each other.

“Aggressive testing and containment is key in hotspots especially. Most members from the containment zone, especially neighbours and all community contacts, should have been relocated to institutional quarantine spaces even if they were not tested, so as to ensure physical distancing,” says an epidemiologist.

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