Chandigarh Administration pays little heed to PGI experts’ tips on tackling Covid in Bapu Dham

We follow only Central Government’s guidelines, says UT Adviser

Chandigarh Administration pays little heed to PGI experts’ tips on tackling Covid in Bapu Dham

A sealed area in Bapu Dham Colony in Sector 26, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. Manoj Mahajan

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 26

At a time when Covid-19 positives cases in Bapu Dham Colony are increasing, the UT Administration has shown indifference in adopting suggestions of experts from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

While some of the recommendations given by the experts were already in place, including institutional quarantine, home-isolation strategy, community participation and mental health services, no novel suggestion made by the team has been adopted by the UT.

Recently, 143 residents from Bapu Dham Colony were shifted to Panjab University, girls’ hostel number 8. Earlier, 66 residents were moved to Sector 47 Community Centre.

The team had strongly recommended that all contacts of families from where cases are reported in Bapu Dham should be kept in institutional quarantine outside the colony as it’s done in Dharavi, Mumbai.

The other recommendation, which the Administration is yet to follow is to undertake ‘active surveillance’ in Bapu Dham by recording oxygen saturation with pulse oximeter for all to identify high-risk individual for testing.

As per experts, any oxygen saturation value less than 90 per cent should be reported and the suspected person should be clinically examined and tested for Covid.

There was also a suggestion of ‘assessing community transmission’ by testing 100 high-risk people (health workers, police personnel) and low-risk group (50 non-ILI OPD patients and 50 pregnant women). The team had also opined that the UT must take permission from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for making ‘Elisa’ testing kits for sero survey.

Besides, a suggestion was also made that keeping in view the long-term preparedness, a dedicated infectious disease (ID) hospital should be identified in periphery of Chandigarh to keep infectious patients away from routine health services and prevent infection in health workforce.

The experts felt that there is a need to ‘identify super spreader’, who infects more than eight or more persons in the city or Bapu Dham Colony and a special drive must be undertaken to identify them.

The team was headed by Prof JS Thakur, Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health.

When UT Adviser Manoj Parida was asked about following suggestions made by the PGI, he said, “We only follow guidelines of the Central Government. We do not rely on unofficial reports.”

Ironically, the UT Adviser had earlier announced on twitter that “PGI has given excellent suggestions on Covid management of Bapu Dham. We are working on it.”

The UT Administrator had asked the PGI to send a Public Health Team to Bapu Dham and make specific recommendations for improving field operations. A four-member team was formed to analyse the ground situation and make recommendations to stop further spread of Covid-19 outbreak in the colony.


Undertake active surveillance in bapu dham colony: PGI

  • The other recommendation, which the Administration is yet to follow is to undertake ‘active surveillance’ in Bapu Dham by recording oxygen saturation with pulse oximeter for all to identify high-risk individuals for testing.
  • As per experts, any oxygen saturation value less than 90% should be reported and the person should be clinically examined and tested for Covid.
  • There was also a suggestion for ‘assessing community transmission’ by testing 100 high-risk people (health workers, police personnel) and low-risk group (50 non-ILI OPD patients & 50 pregnant women).

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