In Nizamuddin, in the heart of Delhi, from Thursday the staff of the Global Disease Surveillance Programme will go door-to-door to try to detect and contain cases of Covida-19 in the area that has emerged as the last and largest accumulation of coronavirus in the country.
The cases of Kovida-19 throughout the country were attributed to the religious community of Tablig Jamaat at its headquarters in the region, which housed thousands of members of this group until March. On Wednesday, the last of the 2346 people in the building were evacuated; 536 of them were sent to hospital and quarantined in 1810.
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To date, the community has been charged with 358 infections and 9 deaths.
From Thursday, for example, all persons within a 3 km radius (focus zone) of the building and within the buffer zone (5 km radius) will be examined for symptoms. Those with symptoms – the cough – are tested. This means door-to-door coverage, first in the concentration area and then in the buffer zone.
The cluster location strategy has two components: one – the determination of the epicentre, and the other – a buffer zone in which in-depth door-to-door investigations must be carried out. We’re carrying out a complete blockade in and around this area. The next step is to identify all potentially positive cases through aggressive testing. We take samples from anyone suffering from respiratory diseases in the region, said a senior technical official of the Ministry of Health of the Union, who asked not to be named.
The Ministry of Health has developed a detailed microplan for the local transmission of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in a specific geographical area.
Over the past two weeks, the cluster reduction strategy has been completed and is being implemented in 12 clusters across the country. Nizamuddin, 13 years old.
The strategy includes mobile test units with experts sent to epicentres to collect samples.
Groups subject to containment within the last 10 days include Dilshad Garden in Delhi, Bhilwarah in Rajasthan, Sangli in Maharashtra, parts of Mumbai and Pune, also in Maharashtra, Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir, Agra and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, and Kasaragod, Hernakulam, Patanamthitta and Kannur in Kerala. State governments were invited to identify and contain cases that could lead to clustering. Movement in and around the epicentres of the bunches is totally forbidden. In Nizamuddin, for example, these are the jobs of the head office of Jamaat Markaza Nizamuddin and its surroundings.
The government is already looking at all cases of severe acute respiratory tract infections (SARI) in Covid-19, but in cluster studies it will look at anyone with a respiratory disease.
MRSA cases are usually hospitalised, but this (clustering) involves taking samples from the community. We have well-equipped vans and enough trained staff to collect samples sent to these hotspots, according to the Ministry of Health expert.
Doctors said clustering is the right approach, especially as it aggressively extends testing.
It is a very good idea to carry out aggressive tests as this will reveal the exact extent of the problem. To find a solution, you need to know the extent of the problem. Covid-19 is a highly contagious disease that requires an aggressive containment strategy, such as blocking hotspots. No one should leave these areas, says Dr. Chand Wattal, president of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital for Clinical Microbiology and Immunology.
Local clustering of cases usually occurs when family members, neighbours, friends or colleagues with the same P0 (index patient, in medical terminology) are infected or infect each other. Aggressive contact tracing is also part of a deterrent strategy.
The increase in the number of cases in recent days is linked to the Delhi community and every effort is being made to monitor contacts, quarantine and isolate suspicious cases. Some 1,800 people have been transferred to various hospitals and quarantine facilities in and around Delhi and we expect the number of positive cases to increase once the results are known. Our experts are working to contain the spread, says Lav Aggarwal, Assistant Secretary at the Ministry of Health.