Health officials anticipate a rise in cases after the festival
Anticipating a rise in COVID-19 positive cases after Deepavali, health officials have planned to return to the pre-Deepavali COVID-19 testing numbers.
Deputy Director of Health Services K. V. Arjun Kumar said there was a dip in the number of COVID-19 tests conducted during Deepavali season. “But, we are increasing the testing numbers so that around 3,000 tests are conducted every day,” he said.
City Health Officer of Madurai Corporation P. Kumaraguruparan said the testing number in the 100 wards of the city had been increased to around 2,200 post-Deepavali. Despite testing around 3,000 samples every day, the positivity rate of the district was around 1.5, said Mr. Arjun Kumar. “But, post-Deepavali, we are anticipating a rise in COVID-19 positive cases. So we will have focussed testing to contain the spread of the pandemic,” he said.
More focus would be given to festival gatherings, markets and crowded places. Fever surveillance would be increased, added Dr. Arjun Kumar. “During monsoon, there will be a rise in flu and fever cases. So swab samples will be collected from those who have influenza-like-illness and severe acute respiratory infections,” he said.
A staff nurse of Madurai Corporation said the officials have set a target of collecting at least 85 samples a day from each fever camp in the city. “But residents are not volunteering to get themselves tested. So we are insisting on random testing on residents to give samples for COVID-19 tests as we have to reach the target,” she said.
Dr. Kumaraguruparan said more number of symptomatic residents must come forward to get themselves tested.
Dr. Arjun Kumar stressed the need for better compliance on the face mask rule and said people must wear it in public places. “Despite officials slapping a fine from those not wearing face masks, the compliance is poor. Traders must insist that all their customers wear face masks inside their shops,” he added.
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