The Andhra Pradesh government has launched an extensive drive to sanitise zones where coronavirus cases are detected, and has introduced extra precautionary measures to prevent community transmission. Authorities are following a strict eight-day procedure to completely sanitise such an area.
The sanitation and safety measures are being taken on a war-footing as the number of COVID-19 cases has started rising drastically in the state – from 21 cases on March 29, the number of positive cases rose to 87 on April 1, and 303 by April 6. The worst affected districts are Kurnool with 74 cases, Nellore (42) and Guntur (32).
“When a positive case or a suspected case with severe symptoms is reported at any place, proper sanitation of nearby areas and extra precautionary measures are being undertaken by the government to curb the spread of COVID-19. The area where the positive case is reported from is treated as the containment area with a 5-km radius zone. Residents within the containment zone aren’t allowed to step out… All essentials are delivered to their respective doorsteps by volunteers,” state Health Minister A Krishna Srinivas said.
“A buffer zone is established within a 3-km radius outside the containment zone. Sodium hypochlorite solution is sprayed both in the containment as well as buffer zone. Besides this, super sanitation involving spraying of bleaching and lime mixture, garbage disposal, cleaning of drains, fogging, bush cutting, are also undertaken,” he said.
Two special teams have been assigned to each containment zone to take care of the residents who aren’t allowed to step out. After establishing the buffer zone, authorities stick a QR code outside each residence in the buffer zone for daily attendance. A medical team headed by the Mandal Parishad Development Officer (MPDO) is responsible for monitoring each household, maintaining a systematic attendance register and from enquiring about the health and well-being of the residents to trace more possible cases.
A super-sanitation team headed by the Panchayati secretary is responsible for day-to-day sanitation of the zone until the zone ceases to exist.
The state government has also imposed the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on all government and private health and medical services, sanitation workers, transport of medicines, and electricity and water supply. The order covers doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulance services, and bio medical waste management, and the sale, transport and manufacturing of medicines.
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