New Delhi is putting together over 13,000 teams, comprising personnel from the police force, anganwadis and civic bodies, to screen the city’s population, alert authorities about suspected coronavirus cases, ferry patients to medical facilities, and enforce social distancing.
Chief Secretary Vijay Dev Monday ordered the formation of the teams under provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The eleven district magistrates of the city have been tasked with “immediately” creating the teams, which will have maximum five members each.
The “Corona foot warriors Containment and Surveillance Teams” will be multi-sectoral in nature and headed by Booth Level Officers of the state election office. Apart from BLOs, each team is expected to have one civil defence volunteer. ASHA/Anganwadi worker, MCD sanitation worker and a Delhi Police beat constable.
The various tasks they are expected to carry out include making telephonic calls to households in their jurisdictions to enquire about the well-being of people, availability of essential items with them, and advise them to wear masks and ensure social distancing.
“They shall also inquire with the concerned household whether they know any suspected corona case in their neighbourhood. The teams shall also do foot patrolling and visit each household as per their own schedule on a daily basis and identify suspected corona patients, if any. In case any suspected case is identified, to carry out the protocol already circulated for a suspect including quarantine, testing, tie-up with doctors etc,” the order reads.
The teams are also expected to help transport the suspects to quarantine and isolation centres.
So far, such screening exercises, apart from limited testing, have been undertaken in containment zones — over 45 clusters where at least three confirmed cases have been found — identified by the Delhi government. The teams are set to expand the scope of the screening exercise.
These teams will work under the overall supervision of IAS officer Sanjay Goel. Every evening, by 6 pm, they will have to submit reports on number of houses visited, number of suspected cases noted, notices issued for non-compliance of wearing masks and social distancing, among others.
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