BENGALURU: With an increasing number of SARI cases turning Covid-19 positive, the state government has been changing its approach in handling such patients almost every two days. Now, the Health Department has decided to do thorough checks of SARI and ILI cases by not only testing them, but also getting health workers to conduct follow-ups via personal visits.
“We have set up a system where ASHA workers will have lists of SARI, ILI, HIV/ TB/cancer patients and also elderly people in their areas, and will visit them regularly. They will then update the health status of such people on a mobile app that tracks patients,” said Pankaj Kumar Pandey, Commissioner, Department of Health and Family Welfare. ASHA workers will visit each home, record temperatures and symptoms, and also take down contact numbers for follow-up checks.
These lists will also include patients at private hospitals, and is being prepared at the district and panchayat level. Workers have to check if the patients are in a containment zone every day, twice a week if they are in orange zones and once in 15 days if they are in green zones. However, calls to patients will be made every three to four days for health updates.
Primary and secondary contacts of these patients will also be checked regularly. Meanwhile, medical stores in cities, districts and rural areas have been strictly instructed to note down the numbers and addresses of those buying medicines for fever, allergies or cough. Such cases will also be monitored. Dr Giridhar R Babu, professor and head of Lifecourse Epidemiology, Public Health Foundation of India, said that the state has to follow ‘syndrome-based’ surveillance for Covid-19. This approach implies that all cases of fever, cough, malaise and any other respiratory symptoms must be treated as Covid-19, unless and until proved otherwise.