PUDUCHERRY: The ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology team and the medical team deputed by the Centre after reviewing the COVID-19 control measures, recommended increasing RT-PCR testing capacity to 3000 per day.
They also recommended bringing testing closer to the community by increasing satellite sample collection centres or mobile collection centres to schools.
In a report submitted to Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, the team recommended the Union Territory to strengthen the measures under seven pillars of surveillance, testing, isolation of positive patients, contract tracing, quarantine, bed capacity and clinical care and data management.
At present five labs, three in government and two in private are conducting RT-PCR tests. Till the RT-PCR capacity is increased, the government should consider deploying rapid antigen tests (RAT).
They advised active door-to-door search and involved private clinics, hospitals in identifying symptomatic individuals and established screening centres at private medical colleges.
With more than 50 per cent of the cases in home isolation, the teams advised isolation at COVID-19 care centres be encouraged and reduce home isolation especially in highly congested and slum areas. Dedicated manpower should do field-level case investigation and contact tracing as well as involve other government departments, while JIPMER and IGMCRI can act as coordinators and trainers.
Other government departments also should be involved in monitoring adherence to quarantine in the field , instead of depending only on the PHC field team only.
Increase the oxygen support beds twice the current capacity, while revising the discharge criteria based on current MOHFW guidelines, they said.
Separate data management teams need to be established for each of the seven pillars and standardized epidemiological indicators to be analyzed at regular intervals to understand the spread, areas for improvement.
They strongly recommended that senior-level officers should be entrusted with the responsibility of overseeing ongoing as well as recommended measures under each pillar and for effective overall coordination.