Vigil up: Containment, sealed zones increased in dist

12 areas sealed; three-member civil, police, health teams keep check on home-quarantined people

Vigil up: Containment, sealed zones increased in dist

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, July 1

The number of positive cases increased to 733 in the district. Not only this, a dramatic increase in the number of containment and sealed zones has forced the district administration to step up collective surveillance in areas that has reported a high number of Covid cases.

Of the 733 positive persons in the district, 242 are active cases, while 69 have been kept under home isolation.

An additional 1,089 people in the district (contacts of positive patients) are also under home quarantine. People in localities under containment or seals are also under home quarantine by default.

The ever growing list of zones under containment and seal have now risen to 14 in the district with 12 of these being sealed areas (with 5 to 9 active Covid cases) and two containment zones (with 16 to 19 active cases). Three-member teams of the health, police and civil departments are carrying out active surveillance of people who are under home isolation in these areas.

While the previous term for a positive patient to be under home isolation was 14 days, patients are now being kept under isolation at the hospital for mandatory 10 days and then sent home and kept there for an additional 4 to 7 days. This has extended the home isolation period to 17 to 19 days among some patients.

Dr TP Singh, nodal officer, Covid said: “For positive patients, especially those over 60, the mandatory 10-day hospital isolation period is a must. After that, if they are asymptomatic, they can shift to home isolation for seven to nine days depending on the patient. That is the only reason why isolation periods have stretched a bit longer. The point is to ensure that patients are safe and do not infect others.”

Civil Surgeon Jalandhar, Dr Gurinder Kaur Chawla, said: “Three-member teams have been checking on patients daily and proper surveillance is on for those under isolation as well as quarantine. Those under isolation are checked daily and it is made sure that they do not leave their homes. In sealed and containment areas, this is strict and neighbours or locality residents are automatically under quarantine.”

FIRs acting as deterrent for norm violators

While the accounts of people flouting isolation and quarantine are aplenty in the district, cops’ challaning drives are acting as a deterrent.

While rallies, dharna and protests by a majority of the political parties in the past one week flouted social-distancing norms blatantly, the Health Department is also flooded with complaints regarding people under isolation leaving homes to grab groceries from the neighbourhood or going for strolls outside.

Civil Surgeon Dr Gurinder Kaur Chawla said: “Teams of SHOs, doctors and officers are strictly watching over those in isolation. We have no executive powers to deter those flouting social-distancing norms during political meets, rallies or other meetings. But the Police Department is challaning such people actively. It’s true that the general public is still careless on social-distancing norms and needs fervent checks. But FIRs and challans are acting as a strong deterrent.”

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