TODAY -

Declare community spread status: Team of 8 doctors
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 08 2020: A team of 8 public health specialist doctors and retired programme officers has urged the State Government to declare that the State is in the community transmission stage of Covid-19 .

The team also suggested preventive measures from further community spread while stating that further complete lockdown is not required.

"Since August 9, we have been telling that Manipur is in the early stage of community transmission.

It is now confirmed unmistakably by field findings," the team said in a press release.

"This position has been accepted by the technical committee of the Medical Directorate, but Govt has not declared the same as yet.

Since August 20, we have had 1594 community transmission out of a total 1678 civilian infection (period: Aug 21-Sep 7), i.e.95 % of infection," it said.

"Now all districts are affected though major burden is borne by Imphal West, Imphal East, Senapati and Churachandpur," it said.

The team has suggested implementing the following measures to prevent further community spread.

1.Enforcement of strict 14 day lockdown rules at quarantine zones and centres with two time house to house total survey (5-7 days apart) to find out any undetected Covid cases.

2.Similarly, two times testing (5-7 days apart) be done during the 14 days as RT PCR testing and Rapid antigen test give many false negative results (rapid antigen, 20-30%) .

3.No home treatment and no home quarantine for people who do not have separate bathroom and living room facilities.

4.Keeping positive cases of quarantine zones and centres in separate wings or in other quarantine zones and centres is a must to avoid cross infection.

5.Another second 14 day quarantine for all returnees plus suspected persons in a Government designated quarantine centres or in a village quarantine centre.

This is done in Ukhrul, Kamjong and Senapati district by the villagers themselves.

This innovative idea should be encouraged.

It acts as the 2nd line of defence from false negative results, remnants of cross infections in quarantine centres and spread from asymptomatic patients.

6.Weekly testing of Covid worriers - medical, police, media and quarantine zones and centres' workers is a must now.

Government may enforce it by prioritising free testing for them.

All be provided standard quality PPEs.

7.Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Prophylaxis: With the detection of many doctors/nurses/health workers as Corona positive, preventive HCQ tablet in the dose prescribed by ICMR guidelines be taken by all frontline health workers, police personnel and other volunteers.

8.Strict enforcement of mask use, 6 feet physical distancing, avoiding crowded places, frequent hand washing etc be implemented vigorously along with strict penalty.

9.Information sharing and Community Participation in all health Institutions with medical staff and NGOs (two courses per month of 1 day duration, 15 days apart) is recommended for next 3 months from Corona fund.

10.Vigorous mass campaign to stop discrimination to frontline workers including media.

11.Randomised Sero-Surveillance (Active Community Survey) consisting 10% of sample population of IW, IE, Thoubal and Senapati districts to know the extent of community spread is a must now.

While doing so, side by side, health education campaigns with local clubs, also from Corona fund, may also be executed.

Population exposed to virus as per sero-surveillance is 29% in Delhi, 33% in Mumbai and 20% in Chennai.

12.A matter of satisfaction : It is further a matter of pride that some of our recommendations a month ago are now endorsed by ICMR in its new advisory (source NDTV Sep 5) .

India's top body put new guidelines -
i) to test all living in QZs
ii) person developing symptoms after negative rapid test be again tested by RT-PCR test
iii) rapid-antigen test be 1st priority for routine CZs surveillance and RT-PCR test in hospital settings and in non-CZs routine surveillance.

The release was signed by Dr Th Suresh Singh, Ex-Director Health and a public health specialist and administrator; Dr Sh Shurchandra Sharma, Pathologist and Ex-Director Health; Dr L Shantikumar Singh, retired Professor, Community Medicine, JNIMS; Dr S Sukumar Singh, retired CMO and a public health specialist and administrator; Dr Ibochou Singh, retired State Malaria Officer and WHO programme specialist; Dr Ak Khamba, retired State TB Officer and Public Health Specialist; Dr H Priyokumar Singh, retired District AIDS Officer and Public Health Specialist; Dr AS Felix Khating, Public Health Specialist and retired District AIDS Officer.


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