Focus on disease control measures in rural areas


Wilson Thomas

When the second wave of COVID-19 had its peak in Coimbatore district and hospitals ran at full capacity, asymptomatic patients with normal vitals were asked to remain in home isolation. There were days when nearly 30,000 patients were in home isolation.

With the district seeing a decline of new and active cases, and hospitals and COVID Care Centres (CCC) having vacant beds, the Health Department is now ensuing that patients with proper facilities at home for complete isolation, such as separate room with attached bathroom, remain in home isolation.

Deputy Director of Health Services S. Senthil Kumar said that health workers were conducting house visits in rural areas of the district to check whether a patient can be allowed to be in home isolation.

“If an asymptomatic patient lacks facilities for proper containment, he or she is shifted to the Panchayat Level COVID Care Centres (PLCC) or CCCs. This will avoid spread of the disease within the family and the neighbourhood,” he said.

According to him, demarcation of micro-containment zones was another measure being taken to control disease spread in rural areas.

While sealing an entire street or residential area can be done by closing a few roads in the city, the same strategy does not work in rural areas.

Dr. Kumar said that healthcare professionals were doing home triage in rural areas in addition to the triaging done at primary health centres and government hospitals. Those who require hospitalisation were being shifted accordingly.

As of Wednesday, Thudiyalur (49), Karamadai (44), Sulur (31), Madukkarai (23) and Mettupalayam (14) were the blocks with the highest number of containment zones after Coimbatore Corporation. Sulur (7), Thudiyalur (5.73), Karamadai (5.20), Madukkarai (4.51) and Thondamuthur (4.36) were the blocks which accounted for high percentage of COVI-19 cases in the last seven days up to Wednesday outside corporation limits.

According to Dr. Kumar, the department was expecting further decline in the daily caseload and test positivity rate (TPR). As of Wednesday, the TPR of the district stood at 20.16 %.

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