The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) health officials have been directed to identify and report “as rapidly as possible” any new cases and clusters, apart from including the data in relevant epidemiological analyses within 24 hours of diagnosis.
This was one of the main action points put forth by BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad to the health officials during a review meeting to discuss the effect of spike in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra and Kerala and its subsequent impact on the city.
The State government has already issued directions on measures to be initiated to screen travellers from the two neighbouring States. The number of COVID-19 positive cases had also seen a spike in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.
The Commissioner stressed on the need for comprehensive contact tracing and cluster investigations. He said health officials could seek support of personnel from revenue and engineering departments, apart from roping in residents’ welfare associations and community members for the same. He said rapid data reporting and analysis were critical to detect new cases and clusters, and to initiate contact tracing. Even if no cases are detected, PHCs should submit zero reports, which will help verify functioning of the surveillance system and also to monitor virus circulation in the city. Hospitals and long-term care facilities have been directed to report COVID-19 deaths and others, which will be reviewed weekly at the zonal and headquarters levels.
Mr. Prasad pressed for enhanced surveillance of closed settings, such as marriage halls, and facilities, including colleges and schools, prisons, care homes, and retirement communities. Planned and random visits should be undertaken to ensure compliance of protocols and prompt detection of cases and clusters in these settings. Health officials have been directed to visit schools and colleges and collect the list of students and staff.
To prevent further outbreak, several layers of supportive supervision is needed and objective indicators should be developed and reviewed by the surveillance units. The zonal in-charge officials have been instructed to submit reports on compliance to both the Commissioner and Special Commissioner (Health).
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