Implementing strict containment measures and focusing on managing those who are vulnerable and at a high risk, are aiding the recovery of coronavirus patients in Punjab, the Union health ministry said on Monday. Punjab has shown good progress in containing the virus spread. The state continues to post a high recovery rate, the ministry said.
A look at the multi-pronged strategy of Punjab to tackle Covid-19:
1) Government quarantine for the high risk/vulnerable population from containment zones. With a view to reducing mortality, vulnerable population groups are line listed including more than 60 years old, those having cardiac or renal disease, hypertension, diabetes or with immune-compromised conditions etc. Such persons are offered facility of Government quarantine outside their containment zone till their area comes out of containment.
2) Quarantine facilities are being offered at hotels/lodges or other suitable places. One care giver is allowed to accompany the vulnerable person. All the medical needs of the person are taken care of in the quarantine facilities. A Medical Officer supervises and inspects the persons in the quarantine facility twice a day.
3) Punjab has implemented a stringent containment strategy. The containment zones are clearly delineated as a street or two adjoining streets, a Mohalla or a residential society. These can be the entire society in case of small societies or a part of it if the societies are large, depending upon distribution of the COVID-19 cases.
4) In the rural areas, it can encompass the whole village or be limited to a part of village. The principle underlying this detailing is to focus on effective containment of smaller/limited areas. Early identification has helped in containing the spread of the infection.
5) Rigorous house-to-house search is carried out to identify persons with symptoms/suspected COVID-19. Those testing positive for COVID-19 are promptly shifted to the isolation centers. Thus the whole population in the containment areas is screened regularly and all possible suspected cases of COVID-19 are tested and positives shifted to isolation centers.
6) “Ghar Ghar Nigrani" is a mobile-based app launched by Punjab Government to check the spread of COVID-19. The door-to-door survey is undertaken with the help of ASHA workers/community volunteers to ensure early detection and timely testing. Through the App, the entire rural and urban population above the age of 30 years is being surveyed. This includes checking for people with co-morbidities and SARI/ILI surveillance. The data generated is being used for risk mapping which facilitates targeted interventions.
7) Punjab has ramped up the testing capacity; presently it is conducting about 8000 tests/day.
8) Mobile testing vans are being used to boost testing.
9) While the number was 71 tests /million on 10th April, 2020, it has significantly been ramped up to 5,953 tests/ million. With this increase, Punjab has recorded more than 83 times increase in testing.
10) In order to restrict the spread of the virus, Punjab has imposed restrictions on weekends and holidays, and strict enforcement of all protocols are being ensured through fines.
So far, Punjab has recorded 4,235 number of coronavirus cases in the state with 101 deaths. As many as 2,825 people have recovered from the illness while 21,300 have been quarantined.