Friday, March 24

KMC, cops take telecallers’ help to keep tabs on patients, kin at home

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The Kolkata Municipal Corporation, along with help from Kolkata Police, has roped in telecallers to keep tabs on Covid patients kept in home isolation as well as family members of patients advised home quarantine for two weeks. The telecallers, posted at the civic headquarters and at borough offices, are supposed to call up patients and family members twice a week, note down their health condition and pass on the information to civic medical officers working at the ward level.

The civic health department has formed another team of health department workers to visit houses, where Covid-positive patients are spending isolation periods. “Be it a stand-alone building, an apartment or a high-rise, our team of health workers will visit each affected household to check whether there is enough space for a Covid-positive patient to live in isolation with the provision for a separate washroom. Based on their feedback, we will take appropriate steps in line with the Covid guidelines framed by the state health department,” said a KMC health department official.

While the state administration on Wednesday introduced a stricter policy in the 25 containment zones in the city, KMC and Kolkata Police revised their norms regarding hundreds of homes, where Covid patients are living in isolation, that are not necessarily situated in lockdown zones. Most of these homes, mainly housing people who have contracted the novel coronavirus but have been showing mild or no symptom and families of Covid patients, are in apartments and stand-alone buildings. “Till about four days ago, the city had 1,827 such isolation ‘units’. Many of them are in containment zones, but a large number is still outside. The health department has introduced a new protocol for them and both KMC and police will implement them,” said a senior police officer.

According to the new guidelines, a patient can opt to stay at home once his/her Covid test turns positive. “The health department makes the first call when the patient cites his/her doctor’s advice to opt for home isolation. The health department will send a list to KMC and police, who will use telecallers to confirm the patient’s wish. Two KMC officials will visit the house and check whether the affected person has the facility to live in a separate room with a washroom to himself/ herself or not,” said a KMC health official. “If they are satisfied with the arrangement, after taking into account the affected person’s medical history, they will ask to fill forms, asking for home isolation. After final clearance, police and civic officials will ensure the person is at home. No barricade will be put up.”

KMC and cops also stepped up vigil on apartments. “We will appeal to allow our men to visit the apartments, carry out random tests and counsel residents,” said Firhad Hakim, chairman of KMC board of administrators.

Source:Times of India

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