Prakasam district steps up testing as COVID cases spike

In a twin-pronged strategy, health authorities in Prakasam district have stepped up testing as well as giving more thrust to the vaccination programme after coronavirus cases began rising again after showing a declining trend in the last couple of months.

“The number of persons tested was of the order of 3,000 per day till recently. Now, we have doubled the number of people subjected to testing after isolating primary and secondary contacts of the infected persons,” Prakasam District Medical and Health Officer P. Ratnavalli told The Hindu.

“In addition to this, we are focusing on the vaccination drive to cover each and every person above 60 years of age by conducting a door-to-door survey after finding that voluntary registration of senior citizens is not up to the mark,” she said.

“We are reaching out to old-age pensioners, who number over four lakh in the district, by collecting data from the District Rural Development Agency and District Water Management Agency so that we can give them the vaccines,” she added.

Noting that a majority of persons in the targeted group, especially in rural areas, did not know how to register themselves online for the vaccine, a Digital Assistant and Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) have been posted in each of the 1,058 village secretariats.

Senior citizens can walk into these offices at any time and register themselves for the vaccine. They can also visit any of the session sites set up at public and private hospitals for on-the-spot registration to take the vaccine, Dr. Ratnavalli said.

As many as 74,380 persons, including 17,416 healthcare workers and 21,982 frontline warriors, had been administered the first dose of vaccine and 18,193 of them the second dose of vaccine in the district. As many as 34, 982 senior citizens have also taken the vaccine so far.

From less than 50 cases hitherto, the active number of coronavirus cases has shot up to 82 in the district.

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