Contact Tracing intensified
Coronavirus Update, COVID-19, News

Contact Tracing intensified

July 9, 2020

COVID contact tracing teams track 14-day movement of patients through mobile phone call records

By M.T. Yogesh Kumar

Mysore/Mysuru: With COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Karnataka on the rise, the State Government has restructured its strategy to fight the pandemic with enhanced contact tracing, more oxygen beds, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facilities and ventilators. Many Government employees have been deputed to the crucial task of contact tracing and they have been warned of action if they refuse to work. These are Group B, C and D employees from various non-key departments like Tourism, Revenue and Forest Departments who are now reporting to senior officers in the frontline. 

According to Health experts, the delay in identifying contacts (both primary and secondary) of positive cases and bringing them under proper care is the prime reason behind the spike in numbers. 

In Mysuru too, there are two exclusive teams to trace primary and secondary contacts and they have intensified their search.  While one team is headed by Nodal Officer Lokanath (District Urban Development Cell Director) the other team is headed by Karnataka Exhibition Authority CEO Girish. Lokanath’s team has 48 members who are managed by five senior officers. Once a person tests positive, his/her contacts for 12 to 14 days are traced and quarantined. 

COVID-positive patients are questioned about their travel history of 14 days and the same is informed to another team that verifies the details by tracking the mobile phone tower location. A five-member ASI-grade officers verify the call records and based on this, one more team goes to the places and traces the primary and secondary contacts. Neighbours are informed and if necessary, they will be asked to undergo COVID tests and to be in home isolation. 

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The centralised data goes to the District Health Officer (DHO) who reports the same to the Deputy Commissioner. 

The other team comprises eight members and this team certifies if the positive person can be kept in home quarantine as per the new guidelines issued by the State Government. 

The teams visit individual houses and see the number of family members in the house or if there are elders and children who are vulnerable. In case the positive person has vulnerable people in his/ her house, the same is reported to the DHO and the DC who will take a further call. 

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar has said that additional human resources were required to strengthen contact tracing, which is “a very important part” of controlling the spread of COVID-19.

“Any disobedience in following this order will attract punishment under Section 56 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and other applicable laws,” he said.

According to an extract of Section 56 mentioned in the order, officials will face imprisonment of up to one year, unless they have obtained “written permission” of a superior official or other lawful excuses to not carry out work assigned to them under the act.

8 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Contact Tracing intensified”

  1. Shankar says:

    Contact tracers are wearing the mask as a “token” on the chin with free exposure of mouth and nose. So much so for their knowledge of virus transmission!

  2. Jyothi says:

    Contact tracers should wear the masks appropriately to protect themselves and others around them.

  3. Yash says:

    There is no point in all the efforts if people cannot wear a mask properly. Out of the five individuals at the table, only the man in the pink shirt is wearing his mask properly. All the others are either not wearing one or wearing it without covering the nose and mouth. Why can’t they follow the rules?

  4. Hey Covid-19 says:

    @Shankar
    The mask -related law does not apply to them! It applies to those victims who are already suffering from the debilitating effects of the virus and their relatives. This is independent India, where “do, as I say, and don’t do what I do”, philosophy. If you point out the mask issue there, there are posters in SOM, who will say, in other countries too, the same thing happening, as if it justifies this.
    These people , you point out are using your PM’s : “Digital India” means, to trace victims, harass the family who are already stressed, keep the victims at home for 14 days, but they are not treated in the best facility being prepared at Vikram Hospital : it is only for VIPs!! That is according to Sadguru will say one poster!

  5. Questo says:

    Why would anyone work here? The working conditions are terrible, 6 people are seated facing each other within 6 feet radius! At the other end, a lot more people are strapped together. That’s a high-risk environment even with N95 masks and gloved hands, let alone those poor surgical masks (ah, the way they are being worn, speechless) and bare hands without a sanitizer on the table. Those people should be asking a lot more from the government. Since they are not, they are either too ignorant or too timid to bargain for their safety with the govt.

  6. The lucky ones! says:

    These people are lucky as they have the job, just as those who work in call centres in India which work for international companies.

  7. Questo says:

    That photo explains why in India covid might eventually kill millions. Excluding the internet dwellers, most of the laymen appear to not know the why’s and how’s of covid to take any meaningful preventive measures.

  8. Vaman says:

    The WHO, after asserting for months that the Covid-19 Virus is transmitted by closer contacts only through for example droplets released from sneezing in proximity, hence recommending 2 meter social distancing, now changes its tune to say that there is evidence that the Virus can be spread through airborne transmission, even by the infected person talking and tiny particles can travel much much further than the suggested social distancing. This demented UN organisation, presided over by an African politician, not a doctor, but a China supporter who was installed by China, has singularly failed like all other UN organisations.
    The WHO rubbished claims by very good infectious diseases experts in the West, who wondered about the airborne transmission, and insisted that this Virus is spread by closer contact only.
    This explains why the Virus , has not gone away, even after months of arriving, and in countries like India, where the density of population is very high, and hygienic conditions are abysmal, the airborne Virus, travelling at a greater distance, can take hold of communities and the rise of cases become inevitable.
    The previous contact protocol may have to be revised. Possible in a country like India?

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