Bengaluru Covid action plan focuses on ramping up vaccination, free testing

KAS officer Dr. Vaishnavi K, who is posted full-time as a special officer at Bangalore Smart City Ltd, was identified by BBMP as the nodal officer to ideate strategies to vaccinate priority groups.

Conducting door-to-door vaccination drives on a war-footing, extending free testing to everyone at more centres and deploying surveillance teams at the ward or village levels are some of the measures that feature in an action plan formulated by a Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) officer to mitigate adverse effects of a possible third wave of Covid-19.

KAS officer Dr. Vaishnavi K, who is posted full-time as a special officer at Bangalore Smart City Ltd, was identified by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) as the nodal officer to ideate strategies to vaccinate priority groups, including the differently-abled, people at destitute homes and old-age homes, among others.

The action plan ideated by Dr. Vaishnavi K states that extending the reach of the ongoing vaccination drive against Covid on the lines of how polio shots are administered to the people would help prevent further spread of the pandemic.

“Vaccination is the most rational way to prevent Covid-19 infection. Getting at least 80 per cent of the population vaccinated while the remaining 20 per cent has antibody protection from previous Covid infection would be a golden ratio. Carrying out door-to-door vaccination drives like the standard polio vaccination drives on a war-footing would be ideal,” she said.

Earlier in April, Janata Dal (Secular) leader H D Kumaraswamy had urged the state government to begin a “compulsory door-to-door vaccination” for all adults.

“As the state is under curfew, I suggest the government take full advantage of the situation and start door-to-door compulsory vaccination of all adults so as to instil confidence in the population as well as to arrest the spread of covid,” he said then.

The former CM had also questioned the state and central governments on if they had enough supplies to walk the talk of extending vaccination to all aged 18 and above.

Dr. Vaishnavi added, “At present, vaccine production is done at the rate of 60 to 70 million doses per month. At this rate, it would take another two years for India to be completely vaccinated.”

A focus on increasing production and approaching more local companies coupled with an increase in vaccine procurement would help bridge this gap according to her. She also stressed on the need of ramping up the existing medical infrastructure.

“Local public health centres (PHCs) can meet up to 90 per cent of medical requirements of the population under their jurisdiction. Apart from ramping up infrastructure, the government can prioritise recruitment for doctors having served 100 days on Covid duty. Proximity and affordability of medical care is an important factor,” she explained.

Dr. Vaishnavi also suggested setting up oxygen kiosks in each PHC and making more oxygen concentrators available across hospitals and PHCs in a bid to overcome any oxygen shortage issues that many hospitals witnessed during the second wave.

Other major suggestions, as mentioned in the action plan developed by the officer, include continuing testing, treatment and isolation till the vaccine rollout reaches adequacy, opening up more testing centres at a distance of one kilometre each to encourage free testing and regulating prices of private Covid testing even further.

“Deploying dedicated Covid surveillance teams at the ward and village levels will also help provide inputs to testing, treating and vaccination teams,” she suggested.

Source: Read Full Article