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TN chief secretary issues slew of directions to district collectors to contain Covid

The district administration has been told to focus on effective contact tracing, containment area, and quarantine management as key strategies to control the disease.

Written by Janardhan Koushik | Chennai | Updated: June 23, 2020 2:23:14 pm
Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu coronavirus news, TN covid news, TN Covid guidelines, Coronavirus news Lockdown was imposed in Chennai on June 19. (Express Photo: Srinu Vasu)

Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary K Shanmugam Monday wrote to all the district collectors and monitoring officers requesting them to remain vigilant and take stringent measures to control the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

In a letter, Shanmugam said there was a sudden spurt in influenza like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI) cases due to the accumulated accidental spread. “In districts where there is a spurt in ILI/SARI cases, its geo-spartial spread in habitations or streets has to be studied to effectively contain the emerging clusters by imposing severe restrictions on movements. The strategy of aggressive and focused testing should be followed to ensure early detection of COVID cases by conducting effective surveillance and fever camps. Collectors should analyse the source of positive cases on a daily basis to workout appropriate intervention strategies,” he wrote.

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Shanmugam said a detailed analysis of cases, such as patients from Chennai or their contacts, stranded or migratory laborers from other states, ILI/SARI cases, emerging new clusters due to hospital infection or other means, will help districts work out specific intervention strategies.

According to the Chief Secretary, if an affected street or local area (habitations) with more ILI cases can be screened 100 per cent and the testing strategy should be to test all persons with symptoms without any omission.

“Even if a person tests negative, he should be kept under strict quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of the disease,” Shanmugam said.

In the case that positive cases are increasing in congested areas like slums, officials have been directed to implement an effective micro-plan, i.e., house-to-house monitoring and enforcing quarantine. Further, they have been advised to shift high-risk families residing in congested areas to quarantine centres.

The district administration has been told to focus on effective contact tracing, containment area, and quarantine management as key strategies to control the disease. Kabasura Kudineer and zinc/vitamin tablets will be distributed to each house in a containment area.

Reiterating that face masks are mandatory, Shanmugam said any violation regarding this should be penalised. He said hospitals should also be closely monitored for their strict adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

If there are three or more households with positive cases, strict perimeter controls to be enforced with a proper supply of essentials through volunteers to ensure people confined to their houses.

Collectors are instructed to keep a tab on all the people who return from other countries/states/Chennai to ensure early detection of positive cases.

“The existing health infrastructure in three verticals viz. COVID hospitals (for severe cases), COVID Health Care Centre (For moderate cases) and COVID Care Centres (for mild and asymptomatic cases) shall be reviewed continuously and ramped up according to the requirement and trend in positive cases, for better management of patients. Early detection and early admission to the hospital will certainly reduce death rate,” Shanmugam said.

Officials have been informed to ensure exclusive oxygen beds are present in each hospital with zero delays. Senior physicians and ICU experts in every medical college hospital have been asked to form a team to take a call on complicated cases, and revise treatment protocol as and when is required.

The Chief Secretary added that asymptomatic patients can be provided treatment in health centres or care centres instead in COVID hospitals to provide more space and attention to patients who are seriously ill or have comorbidities.

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