Uttarakhand starts demarcating micro-containment zones as cases surge
Uttarakhand government has started demarcating micro-containment zones along with conducting aggressive testing amid 1,500 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases being reported in the past week in the hill state.
The Himalayan state has reported 5,300 Covid-19 cases until Wednesday.
Amit Singh Negi, state secretary health, said the micro-containment zone plan is being implemented in a bid to hasten the process of contact tracing.
“The monitoring process becomes much easier because of the creation of the micro-containment zones. The adjoining houses, where a Covid-19 patient stays, are declared a micro-containment one. It is easier to test everyone living in those houses. We trace the primary, secondary and tertiary contacts of the patient and rapid antigen diagnostic (RAD) tests are conducted for each of them,” said the health secretary.
Initially, the micro-containment zone plan was used to rein in the viral outbreak in Udham Singh Nagar district, where Covid-19 cases had spiked two weeks ago following a wedding ceremony, he added.
“It is easier to trace contacts in a micro containment zone plan. Besides, it doesn’t disrupt the day-to-day activities of people living there. We have also arranged for RAD test kits in bulk. Each district has been given 5,000 RAD kits. While the hilly districts are being given as per their demand,” said Negi.
The state health department authorities have around 20,000 RAD test kits at their disposal apart from the ones that have been distributed among the plain districts.
A meeting was held on Thursday between the state health officials and representatives of the industries after Covid-19 cases were reported from various factories in the state.
The industry representatives were directed that the commercial activities would continue in a bid to revive the economy but they would need to take precautionary measures such as compliance with social distancing norms, wearing face masks, etc to curb the viral outbreak.
In the past one week, Uttarakhand has reported two of its highest-single day spike in Covid-19 cases to date.
On Sunday and Wednesday, 239 and 451 Covid-19 cases, respectively, were reported.
Anoop Nautiyal, the founder of Dehradun-based think tank Social Development for Communities that has been analysing the Covid-19 data in the hill state, said that while the average infection rate in the state has been in the range of 4-5%, but it peaked at 10.76% on Wednesday.
“The infection rate worked out to 10.76%, as 451 tested Covid-19 positive of the 4,191 swab samples tested. We have to monitor the infection rate closely during the coming days. At present, the state authorities are conducting 3,000 tests daily. If the infection rate is between 7% and 9% range, then the hill state is likely to record 10,000 cases in another three weeks,” Nautiyal added.