Sunday, March 15, 2020

Inside Delhi's coronavirus crack team: How AAP task force is hunting for suspected cases

The AAP government's task force is tracking, and following up with, those who might have come in contact with the infected patients as well as flyers who came to the National Capital from countries affected by COVID-19.
delhi, coronavirus, aap
The task force came to know that the first Delhi patient had come in contact with 105 people. The number for the second confirmed case turned out to be 168. The third patient had come in contact with 64 people. (Photo: PTI)









Delhi has so far reported three confirmed cases of Coronavirus. While authorities are working overtime for their recovery, massive behind-the-scenes efforts are also being made to ensure the disease doesn't spread.


The AAP government's task force is tracking, and following up with, those who might have come in contact with the infected patients as well as flyers who came to the National Capital from countries affected by COVID-19.



This is being done to make sure potential carriers are put under quarantine and their samples were taken.

The task force came to know that the first Delhi patient had come in contact with 105 people. The number for the second confirmed case turned out to be 168. The third patient had come in contact with 64 people.

"So the three patients had come in contact with a total of 337 people. They have all been isolated and quarantined. We are collecting samples as per the symptoms shown by them," said an official.

Dr Nutan Mundeja, Director, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said the task force is calling all flyers who have arrived here, in the last 14 days, from virus-affected countries, twice a day to know if there have developed symptoms. Symptoms show during this 14-day period.

"First we only had their addresses. Now we also have their phone numbers," she said.

The task force, headed by CM Arvind Kejriwal, has so far put 1,40,603 screened flyers on surveillance. It also comprises the civic body and police officials.

A man, the first positive case of COVID-19 from the Capital with a travel history in virus-affected Italy reported on March 2, sent authorities on a wild goose chase as they tracked the number of people he had come in contact with.

A health scare was sparked next day after it was revealed that the man had met several people, including at a birthday party he threw at a five-star hotel in Delhi on February 28 for his child, triggering fears that the students at the Noida-based school who attended it might be at risk. More-or-less similar situations have been seen in the other two cases.

"I request everyone if you know any person who has just returned from abroad, inform the Delhi government. Our team will get in touch with them and put them on surveillance after some general investigation," the CM said.

FRESH MEASURES

On Sunday, Kejriwal announced a slew of measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus in Delhi, while asserting that his government was fully prepared to meet the challenge provided all stakeholders cooperated just as they have been doing in the last few weeks. He was speaking to the media after presiding over a meeting of the task force.

The AAP government also ordered that buses, Metro trains and hospitals to be disinfected every day. Kejriwal appealed to employers to grant paid leave to those who have been quarantined. The Chief Minister said that 25 hospitals will be able to collect samples in Delhi. Earlier the facility was available at only two hospitals. The government has also deputed 40 doctors at the airport.

As many as 168 isolation beds are being set up in these 25 hospitals for patients. "I want to tell you that we are concerned but prepared. No need to panic. We need everyone's cooperation. If everyone cooperates, we would succeed in containing the virus just like we have been doing for the last few weeks. Healthy people do not need masks. If you do so, you expose yourself more. Ensure you wash your hands with soap frequently," the CM said.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain said, "People who do not have symptoms do not need to submit samples. Otherwise, even if one person in the queue has a symptom, he risks others too." The advice came as hundreds of people, who suspect them to be Coronavirus patients, are scrambling to Delhi hospitals for tests. Panic is also setting in because unseasonal rain has triggered flu cases and 19 confirmed virus patients, including a group of Italians, are being treated in Delhi and Gurugram.-India Today



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