Amritsar’s Covid war room reaches out to 1.80 lakh residents, clears 97%
6,505 people out of 1. 80 lakh who were contacted pressed wrong mobile buttons and gave wrong information, while only 11 needed medical help. However, only one of the 11 people was found to be Covid-19 positiveUpdated: Apr 27, 2020 20:33 IST
As part of the municipal corporation’s (MC) efforts to connect to citizens through its Covid-19 ‘control room’, nearly 1.80 lakh computer-generated phone calls were made to them to enquire about people’s health with 97% residents green flagged after they did not report any Covid-19 symptoms.
The control room, the first of its kind in Punjab, was set up on April 18 to ‘tele-screen’ five lakh residents in the city which currently has six positive patients being treated at the local Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). Six others have recovered and been discharged from hospital.
Besides this, district has also reported two Covid-19 confirmed deaths.
The control room has MC staff recording calls and categorising cases according to colours: Pink, green, orange and red. People who say they do not have symptoms are flagged green; those with cough and fever get pink; orange is for those with breathing problems and red if they have any recent foreign history or have contacted any Covid-19 positive patient.
FLAGGED IN FOUR COLOURS
MC staff call back to reconfirm cases flagged pink, orange or red as a precautionary measure.
“Among the 1.8 lakh residents who have been tele-screened, 97% said they do not suffer from cough and fever. However, out of them 92 persons were flagged red, 82 were given orange while 6,331 got pink. When MC employees called them back for confirmation, people claimed they had pressed the wrong buttons on their mobile phones by mistake. Only 11 people out of the 6,505 actually needed some medical help”, said Amritsar MC joint commissioner Nitish Singla.
Mayor Karamjit Singh Rintu added that 20 rapid response teams, with members of city police and medical officers, immediately reached out to the 11 persons seeking help and screened them. Ome woman was found symptomatic. “She had come in contact with a Covid-19 positive patient and later tested positive at the Government Medical College Amritsar.”
Rintu also did not rule out mischief by some parties saying they might have given the wrong information intentionally. “I urge the residents to listen to the call carefully and respond correctly so that tele-screening can bear fruit and the outbreak can be contained.”
DOOR-TO-DOOR SCREENING STOPS
Door-to-door screening of residents has currently stopped after 53,867 residents of Sultanwind Road and Krishna Nagar were screened in three days. Now people living within Amritsar’s walled city have to be screened but plans are on hold as the district administration is focused on conducting random sampling in the district.