The Health Department has launched a fresh action plan in the district as part of the Triple Zero campaign following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
According to officials, closed and crowded workspaces and non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols have triggered the spike and measures are in place to curb further spread. While workplace clusters have been identified among cashew labourers and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers in several places, tourist destinations pose another challenge.
“After random persons from these sections and migrant workers tested positive, we started focusing on them. Very soon clusters were reported from cashew factories at Kulakkada, East Kallada, Munroe Thuruthu, and Thekkum Bhagam. We also came to know that the factories were not following the guidelines and at many places workers were mingling during lunch break leading to the spread,” said Deputy District Medical Officer R. Sandhya.
More RT-PCR tests
The department will be going for more RT-PCR (reverse transcription – polymerase chain reaction) tests while surprise inspections will be held at workplaces, events and functions, including weddings. “We have decided to go for intensive contact tracing and follow the strategy we employed in the initial days. Nowadays positive cases hardly give the details of their contacts other than family members. We have started to trace all the contacts using route map and all family members will be tested on the same day or the next day.”
Meanwhile, the authorities have decided to strengthen the functioning of lifestyle clinics for protecting persons belonging to vulnerable categories. Medical officers have been directed to ensure that all patients placed in home care are given proper instructions and guidelines. If they need expert treatment, they will be refereed on time as per protocol. While the eSanjeevani telemedicine facility will be promoted, Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) medicines will be made available to positive persons and those in quarantine. Non-Resident Indians and those coming from other States will have to strictly follow the protocol and persons who repeatedly test positive should get in touch with the department. The health officials have also instructed all the private hospitals and labs functioning in the district to upload the test results on the LDMS (Lab Diagnosis and Management System) portal within 24 hours.