VIJAYAWADA: Every family in Andhra Pradesh must be tested for coronavirus within 90 days, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy told the health department on Monday, adding that ‘104’ vehicles must be retrofitted with facilities to collect samples and even test people for diabetes and hypertension, among other things.
“Besides providing medicines to people who are screened and tested, details of the tests and results should be saved on the QR Health Cards given to them. People who need to be tested further should be referred to the nearest PHC,” he said, and directed officials to allocate one ‘104’ emergency vehicle for each mandal and form teams of ANMS, Asha Workers and volunteers to help in screening and testing. Jagan also wanted officials to conduct tests using ‘104’ vehicles in every village every month.
He said this while addressing a high-level review meeting on the pandemic at his camp office in Tadepalle, and asserted that a robust system and comprehensive strategy are needed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Special Chief Secretary (Health) KS Jawahar Reddy and other officials said more than 24,000 tests are being conducted daily, and the number will be increased. When asked about the strategy adopted for testing, the officials said the focus was on people above the age of 60 years, those above 40 who have comorbidities, people in containment zones, and those in the ‘high-risk’ category. People are also being tested at random in industries, malls, temples and market yards, among other places, and those arriving from other states are also under the scanner, the officials told the Chief Minister.
On hearing that 1.2 crore out of 1.42 crore health cards have been distributed, Jagan told the officials to finish distributing the cards at the earliest and register the health profiles of card holders with their COVID- 19 screening details. He suggested that 50 per cent of tests be done in containment clusters and the rest be on those who volunteer to get tested or call up to report COVID- 19 symptoms. The focus should also be on ‘high-risk’ categories, he added.
Jagan emphasised that people should be educated about coronavirus and those infected should not be stigmatised.
“A standard operating protocol (SP) should detail what needs to be done when someone is suspected of having COVID-19. Health officials should raise awareness when they make house calls, and give information on who should be consulted, and where one can get tested. All PHCs must have sample collection centres,” the Chief Minister said.
Officials were told to set up hoardings at village secretariats explaining what is to be done if one has corona symptoms, and give details of whom to contact and where to get tested. They were directed to focus on sanitation and distribution of medicines.
Jagan told the officials to set up urban health clinics along the lines of the proposed clinics, in view of the population density in urban areas.