Covid-19: Bengaluru comes up short in tracing contacts | Bengaluru News - Times of India

Covid-19: Bengaluru comes up short in tracing contacts | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: For every fresh Covid-19 case in the past 10 days in Bengaluru, an average of about 9.5 primary and secondary contacts have been traced tested – a low figure – leading to concerns. To counter the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the state technical advisory committee had recommended that at least 20 contacts per patient be tracked and tested.
The abysmal statistic was highlighted at a meeting between BBMP officials, health and family welfare department authorities and health minister K Sudhakar on Thursday.

Bengaluru Urban has registered a total 27,357 cases in the past 10 days. Of these patients, a total of 1.2 lakh primary contacts and 1.3 lakh secondary (total 2.6 lakh) contacts have been traced.
During the 10-day period, the highest number of cases — 5,785 — were reported from south zone. A total of 61,580 contacts have been traced in the zone alone. However, the highest contact tracing has been achieved in RR Nagar where 12.4 people have been traced for every Covid positive case.
All primary contacts must undergo a Covid RT-PCR test on the first day and Day 7. Primary contacts have to stay in home quarantine for seven day and spend another seven days in self-reporting. Currently, there are no guidelines to test secondary contacts unless they develop symptoms.
“We have recommended tracing 20 people for every Covid case although central government guidelines say 30 people per patient must be traced. But it is tough to achieve 30 per person,” admitted a member of the technical advisory committee.
Owing to stigma, Covid positive patients reveal very little about their movements and hence contact tracing has become very tough, said a BBMP medical officer. In most cases, it is family members, neighbours and colleagues who are primary contacts. “It will become even harder as cases
increase due to stigma,” another officer involved in surveillance said.
On Thursday, health minister K Sudhakar said instructions have been given to BBMP authorities to conduct one lakh tests per day in Bengaluru alone and officials have to identify at least 20 primary and secondary contacts for each patient. The government is also planning to conduct a door-to-door survey, he said.
Booth-level teams
With nearly 80% of patients currently in home isolation, the state government is planning to set up booth level committees to monitor such cases. There are 8,500 booths in BBMP limits and a team will be formed in each booth which will conduct door-to-door surveys.
“These teams will focus on testing, spreading awareness on isolation guidelines, provide necessary assistance and treatment for home isolated people,” he said. “They will also stamp, conduct health checkups and ensure oxygen supply for infected people.”
Though this programme was unveiled last year, it could not be implemented. “But now we will ensure this happens. Every ward will have one ambulance and a total 250 ambulances are available,” the minister said.


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