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COVID 19: Contact tracing takes hit after admin relaxes norms for asymptomatic patients

File photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar:  Contact tracing of COVID -19 cases has taken a hit after the administration relaxed norms for asymptomatic patients.

Last month the administration relaxed the norms by suggesting home isolation for asymptomatic patients in a bid to decongest the dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and wellness centers.

 

However, for the last few weeks, the contacts of the Covid-19 positive cases have come down, which is set alarm bells ringing for the administration.

The administration has now set the target of tracing at least 8-10 contacts of COVID-19 positive cases, both symptomatic and asymptomatic.

In a meeting, Divisional Commissioner PK Pole has expressed dissatisfaction over low contact tracing of COVID-19 positive cases. He has directed Deputy Commissioners and Chief Medical Officers to focus on the contact tracing in their respective districts.

“All district contact team shall act more pro-actively now and trace eight contacts of each positive case,” the divisional commissioner told officers in a meeting.

The administration has cited that most of the COVID-19 cases had Influenza-like illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI), which makes it necessary for tracing their contacts. 

An official said that majority of the positive cases were not divulging details about their contacts.

“As we have seen, Covid-19 cases don’t divulge the details of their contacts. It becomes difficult for the COVID teams to find their contacts and only their families are quarantined and tested later,” he said.

Moreover, the government is now using the Panchayat representative to help the medical teams in tracing the contacts of the positive cases.

“Panches, Sarpanches, and Numberdars are closely working with the administration in identifying the primary and secondary contacts of COVID cases. Further, these representatives are being utilized to spread awareness about the precautions to be taken by the people to prevent the spread of infection,” the official said.