JAMMU: A visiting team of the Union Health Ministry on Sunday called for 100 per cent house-to-house survey, contact tracing and increasing the number of testings, especially using Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kits, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Jammu region.
The four-member team headed by National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)Director S K Singh was discussing with senior government officers the steps to be taken for containment and control of the spread of COVID-19 which had witnessed a spike, especially in the Jammu region over the past month, an official spokesman said.
Reviewing the measures through video conference meetings with district administration and health teams of six districts – Samba, Ramban, Kishtwar, Kathua, Rajouri and Doda, the team highlighted the need for focus on the testing and surveillance of containment zones using door-to-door surveys.
Financial Commissioner, Health and Medical Education Department, Atal Dullo was also present during the meeting, the spokesman said.
The other members of the central team include NCDC Joint Director Kinnzin, Associate Prof Medicine (Pulmonologist) AIIMS Vijay Handa and Mahesh Waghmare, IDSP, New Delhi.
“The team members urged the officials concerned to focus on influenza-like Illness (ILI) /Severe Acute Respiratory infection (SARI) cases, 100 per cent house-to-house survey, contact tracing and increasing the number of testing, especially with RAT.
“They asked the officials to focus on the Data analysis and stepping up the testing, contact tracing and surveillance of the areas from where more cases are detected so that chain can be broken,” the spokesman said.
He said the team suggested the measures to be implemented in the containment zones and asked them to involve ASHA and field Health staff to identify ILI cases so that testing of all can be done.
“Door-to-door survey was suggested for identifying high risk persons like pregnant women or the elderly and those with co-morbidity,” he said.
Handa called for following standard operating procedures (SOPs) by all the staff members, besides preparing and following the treatment protocols, the spokesman said, adding they were urged to increase the isolation and ventilator beds so that referral to Jammu is reduced from district hospitals.