On Thursday, health secretary J Radhakrishnan, in an interview to TOI, said the directorate of public health has worked out four strategies to aggressively rein in the pandemic curve in Tamil Nadu.
TESTING AGGRESSIVELY: Early identification of positive cases with aggressive testing will aid early isolation, treatment and prevent transmission and deaths. The state’s new target is to reduce the test positivity rate below 5 in all high incidence districts and below 1 in low incidence districts. On an average the state now tests 85,000 people, which will go up to a lakh in 10 days.
VACCINE RAMP UP: After vaccinating about 1.2 lakh people a day, the recipient numbers in TN came down drastically in the last one week as most health workers were posted as polling staff. The state is targetting 3 lakh vaccinations – first and second dose included – a day across the state. The state has so far received 54.85 lakh doses of vaccines, with a stock of nearly 17 lakh doses.
ENFORCING PROTOCOLS: While fever camps will be held across the state, corporations and local bodies will hold door-to-door surveillance in containment areas. A building with three households and a street with three houses will be declared a containment area in cities. Health authorities have been asked to track down at least 30 contacts of positive cases within 72 hrs. Those violating home isolation will be moved to Covid care centres. The state will also fine people sans masks or those who fail to maintain social distancing. Health officials, police and revenue officials can levy penalties on violations under the TN Public Health Act.
TRIAGING PATIENTS: As cases continue to increase, hospitals in high incidence districts are filling up quickly. While people will have access to a number of beds in private hospitals through the health department webpage (https://stopcorona.tn.gov.in/, screening centres at various PHCs and emergency units in hospital will triage patient and send them to covid care centres, health centres or government medical college hospitals for primary, secondary and tertiary care. This will ensure patients do not crowd one facility.