Since March 1, Gurugram has added 1,356 Covid cases to its tally. The numbers are only expected to rise because of festivities such as Holi, which has prompted the district administration to devise a strategy to contain the spread of the infection. From ramping up testing to keeping tabs on people travelling from other states and increasing bed capacity, the district is gearing up to tackle the possible rise in cases.
Gurugram currently has three RT-PCR machines that have the capacity to test 1,800 samples daily. The Haryana government has now directed the Khanpur Medical College, which can examine 2,000 samples every day, to help out the district with its testing.
“We also have an agreement with five private labs, which have the capacity to process 25,000 samples in total. We can send samples to them in case of emergency. These apart, there are 12 other private labs,” said Virender Yadav, the chief medical officer of Gurugram. At present, the district has been conducting 4,500 tests daily, up from 2,500 in the first week of March.
Apart from RT-PCR tests, the health department will also carry out antigen tests in crowded areas so that results are known within minutes and action taken accordingly. The city now has eight antigen testing camps, which will be increased to 14 on Monday. “We are taking steps to ensure the positivity rate is below 5% during this surge. The plan is to keep it below 2% after this phase is over,” the CMO said.
The district has managed to improve its contact tracing over the past few months. Between September 20 and January 1, when the city witnessed a surge in cases, it increased its contact tracing from 85% to 98%. These numbers are not static, but were calculated according to the number of active cases at that point of time. From tracing seven persons per patient, Gurugram is now keeping watch on 14 contacts for every case.
Tracing is all the more crucial for a city like Gurugram, which is close to the Delhi airport and has a number of people flying to and from other states regularly.
Micro containment zones
While most businesses have resumed and crowds are back at markets, the health department has prepared a micro-containment plan to arrest the spread of the infection. “For every case that is detected, a team of surveyors will visit each flat within 300-500 metres of an affected house and enquire about Covid-like symptoms. Those with fever and cough will be tested,” Yadav said.
Mask a must
Although protocols never asked people to venture without masks, residents had not only let their guard down but the authorities, too, appeared to be slack in enforcing the rules. The government has now asked police to be more vigilant about lapses in protocols.
The number of mask-related challans in Gurugram, which had fined 24,650 people in September last year, came down to just 6,411 in January and 1,218 the month after, when cases, too, were on the lower side. This month, a total of 3,021 challans have been issued so far for not wearing masks.
The city currently has 192 ICU beds for Covid patients and 92 with ventilator support. At present, four of the ventilator beds and 26 in the ICUs are occupied. The district plans to increase the capacity to 691 ICU and 328 ventilator beds across 43 hospitals soon.
On Sunday, the city reported 181 fresh Covid cases, taking its tally to 60,707.