BENGALURU: With studies indicating that Karnataka may see 1.2 lakh daily cases of Covid-19 during the peak of the third wave, expected in February, of which 90-94 per cent of the patients will be in home isolation, health and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials are already on alert.
Though the strategy will not be different from what was followed during the first two waves of the pandemic, officials are taking aggressive measures to check on those in home isolation. As part of their drive, those who have tested positive and are in home isolation can expect more calls from different teams checking on their health status and location.
“We are expecting a peak of 1.2 lakh cases a day in February and even researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have predicted the same. So, measures are being taken up on a war-footing. We are mandatorily giving medical kits to all those in home isolation. This is being done through physical triaging centres,” Health Commissioner D Randeep said.
Nodal Officer (home isolation) Pankaj Kumar Pandey said that just like the second wave, 10,000 fifth semester medical students will be roped in for Covid-related work this time too.
All preparations are being made as the peak may see eight lakh people in home isolation. This year, so far, 80,000 people have been contacted through tele-triaging. Also, the authorities have visited the homes of 300 to 400 patients as they were incommunicado.
During the second wave, 1.33 lakh calls were made to monitor those in home quarantine. Also, 36,053 patients were given mental health counselling, 1.96 lakh emergencies were identified and 8.08 lakh hospital beds were freed up for those needing them the most.
Palike Chief Health officer Balasundar said, “Staffers are being hired for the post of tele-callers, for triaging centres, to collect swab samples, and for door-to-door visits and vaccination drives. Calls are being made to all those who have tested positive on the first, third, fifth and seventh day by different teams and at different levels depending on the symptoms and their general health condition.”
He added that depending on the number of cases, containment zones and geographical area of the ward, zonal commissioners have been given the liberty to hire more staff.
Going by the Union Health Ministry and Indian Council for Medical Research guidelines, medicines in the home isolation kits have also been revised. Two drugs have been removed from the kit and five basic medicines —paracetamol, cetirizine, pantoprazole, vitamin D and C, zinc tablets and cough syrup — have