BENGALURU: The number of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) cases in the state is on the rise. While some cases are genuine, in case of some others, as they have zero contacts, the health and BBMP officials are listing them as ILI cases.
This is not all, the departments have also changed the set testing protocol. Now instead of testing those in institutional quarantine on the 14th day, testing will be done on the 10th or 12th day. This will help them know the positive cases earlier, and also trace contacts faster.
A senior health official told TNIE that many cases were coming to light where a person in quarantine, having no contact with anyone, had tested positive. “Zero contacts is a matter of worry. They are being shown under ILI cases in the health bulletin as they cannot be listed as zero contacts. In such cases the challenge of the contact tracing team is only bigger as the person has no recollection of the contacts,” the official said.
“We have pointed this to the government as it could be the onset of community spread. There are also cases where the primary contact of the new positive case is already under treatment. In such cases there is no way to know the source of contact and so they also fall in the zero contact category. These types of cases have increased after Unlock-1 has been announced and travel gates have been left unattended,” the official said.
To address this issue, the health officials held a meeting with the BBMP, IISc and the Smart City team of Bengaluru to see what best methods can be adopted to trace the contacts of these unknown clusters and identify new source points.
BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar admitted that there were zero contact cases, but still all methods were being adopted to trace primary and secondary contacts. These types of cases are only rising and unless people are forthcoming, the worry will only increase, he said.