Saturday, April 4, 2020

Admn. making efforts towards preventing spread of COVID-19 in A&N Islands

Extensive drive launched to screen all households to identify symptomatic cases in three Districts; People requested to cooperate 

 Port Blair, Apr 4: The UT Administration has effectively contained the spread of COVID-19 by putting effective filters at the point of entry and also implemented Containment Plans to prevent the spread of virus within a cluster. In this regard, the UT Administration has prepared State Containment Plan with the approval of State Levels Advisory Committee (SLAC) on outbreak response on March 18, 2020. Further, on directions from SLAC the District Advisory Committees have prepared the District Containment Plan.
    There are total 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in A&N Islands out of which 7 cases are from North & Middle Andaman District and 3 cases are from South Andaman District. It is pertinent to mention that these 7 cases of North & Middle Andaman District were detected at the Airport itself and were transported to isolation/quarantine facilities of the Administration on 24.03.2020. Therefore, there is no apprehension of spread of COVID-19 in North & Middle Andaman District through these confirmed cases as these persons did not reach North & Middle Andaman District after infection. Moreover, no case has been detected from North & Middle Andaman District so far locally.
     There are 3 confirmed cases from South Andaman District. The State Disease Surveillance Unit (SDSU) and District Administration have done contact listing of 2 cases out of these 3 cases and all the contacts as per the contact listing protocol prepared and tested in RMRC-ICMR, Laboratory Dollygunj were found negative except the wife of one confirmed case. Further, the SDSU and District Administration also listed the contacts of wife of one of the confirmed case and they were also got tested and found to be negative.
       To eliminate possibility of any left out contacts through local transmission, the District Administration with the help of SDSU further screened all the residents of the area within 3 Km radius of the residence of the confirmed case, as per criteria laid down in Cluster Containment Plan. The exercise has been completed and all the cases which had symptoms of cold, cough and fever, got tested from the RMRC-ICMR lab and found to be negative. Presently, all these contacts are under observation in quarantine facilities.
     In view of this, the Administration has primarily contained the possibility of transmission of virus from the mainland by quarantining all passengers who arrived upto 24.03.2020 and also traced the contacts of confirmed cases. However, there may be possibility of having some lone cases mixed up with public from sources such as passengers from mainland landed in Islands before 22.03.2020 or missed out contacts of confirmed cases. Therefore, now an extensive drive is launched to screen all the households in the Islands to identify symptomatic cases. The drive is currently going in all 3 Districts. Therefore, all the residents of Islands have been requested to cooperate with District Administration to complete this process to successfully prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Islands.
    Till date, as many as 228 samples were tested, out of which 10 were positives and 218 were negative. Results of 13 samples are still awaited from RMRC-ICMR Port Blair.

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