VELLORE: A slew of measures, including total lockdown of hotspots, concerted contact tracing, quarantining of contacts, testing and restricting movement of people on the streets, seem to have paid dividends in checking the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic in combined Vellore which comprises Vellore, Tirupathur and Ranipet districts as reporting of new cases has drastically dropped.
All three districts together have recorded 79 positive cases, of which 69 have been cured and subsequently discharged from the hospitals, according to health department officials.
“Containment activities, total lockdown of hotspots, testing and disinfection of public places have resulted in controlling the spread of COVID-19,” Dr KST Suresh, Deputy Director (DD) of Health Services, Tirupathur, told The New Indian Express on Tuesday.
He added, “House to house survey held every day to detect people with symptoms also led us to effectively put the brakes.”
All three collectors A Shanmuga Sundaram (Vellore), MP Sivanarul (Tirupathur) and S Divyadharshini (Ranipet) have led from the front in facing the challenge of the virus.
The pandemic seemed unstoppable, with top officials of the districts ringing the alarm bells early in the month. An official had predicted the worst case scenario for Vellore district, saying positive cases would touch 500 before the end of the month, if people did not adhere to stricter social distancing and keep indoors.
However, the district has succeeded in controlling the number of cases with 22 till now. “Of them, one patient died, 14 have been discharged so far and seven are still active,” said T Manivannan, DD Health Services, Vellore.
In Vellore district, a total 3,200 tests were taken so far, he said, adding, “For the past ten days, we have no positive cases.”
Ambur, with 13 positive cases, had given sleepless nights to officers in the forefront of fighting the pandemic in Tirupathur district. Of the 18 positive cases in the district, 17 have been discharged so far. However, a woman police inspector contracting the virus has caused concern. As many as 2,300 tests were done so far.
Ranipet district leads the chart among the three districts in North Arcot region with 39 positive cases. Strict implementation of the preventive measures has yielded results and 32 of them have been discharged. So far, 1395 tests were taken.
Still, public health experts have a word of caution. “The situation is so far so good. Yet, we can’t lower the guard against the pandemic even if the lockdown is relaxed. The tempo in fighting the virus must be continued,” said a Health Department officer with a quarter century experience in the field.