To break the chain of spreading COVID-19 virus, the Health department Punjab has braced up its efforts for contact tracing drive under which 7.6 contacts of every COVID person have been traced and tested in last week. Punjab has far ahead from many states like Himachal Pradesh, Bihar & in terms of contact tracing.
Giving details in a press communiqué issued here today, the Punjab Health Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that tracing of contact persons (all household members, social contacts contact at workplace) and early sampling/testing are significant ways to curb further spread of the virus till vaccination hasn’t come. He said that to accomplish this target, District level teams (comprising various departments) designated by the Deputy Commissioners are working on war footing across the state. A Nodal officer of the rank of Additional Deputy Commissioner has reviewed the progress of teams deputed at urban zones. In addition to this, block level teams have also been formed under SDMs to cover rural areas coordinating with the respective Senior Medical Officer.
Initially, when a case comes positive, the source of infection may not be known immediately as the patient may not recall the people met and places visited adding that he said with repeated interviews, we have been able to trace infection in most cases.
Sharing figures regarding contact tracing in the last seven days (20 September to 26 September), Mr. Sidhu stated that District Amritsar leads in Punjab with the achievement of tracing 9.7 contact persons of COVID patients. District Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur followed the Amritsar with 9.2 and 9.0 respectively. He said that 9 Districts Gurdaspur, Patiala, Pathankot, Faridkot, Sangrur, Kapurthala, Mukatsar, Tarn Taran & Fatehgarh Sahib have also traced above 8 contacts of every corona positive patient. He said that soon Punjab would achieve the hundred percent target of contact tracing.
Underscoring action being taken to counter rumours and stigma attached to pandemic, Mr. Sidhu said that extensive awareness activities were being conducted such as regular interviews of experts and CORONA survivors have been released on social media platforms to provide accurate information about the disease and ways to prevent it. Anti-stigma campaign launched with training of Health Workers and other staff to de-stigmatize the disease.
Mr. Sidhu said that teams of the Health Department have been continuously working round the clock since March. He said that around 1400 medical and paramedical staff of the health department tested positive and 9 deaths reported so far.