Health workers tasked to report Maharashtra returnees in Mandya

ASHA, anganwadi workers on the job in K.R. Pet and Nagamangala taluks

Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) and anganwadi workers in K.R. Pet and Nagamangala taluks in Mandya district have been assigned a new task – to alert the health authorities on coming across new persons in the households – as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 since many from these two taluks work in Maharashtra, which has reported a spike in cases triggering the scare of a second wave of infection.

These two taluks had reported the highest number of cases last year as many locals returned to their respective villages from the neighbouring State following the lockdown and for other reasons.

Though the checkposts put up on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border in Belagavi district screen the people entering the State besides checking the COVID-19 negative reports, it had come to light that people used alternative routes to enter the State in their own mode of transport during the outbreak last year to dodge screening and quarantine rules.

Such instances led to setting up of checkposts in these two taluks.

To avoid situations like last year and to curb fresh infections, the Health Department has alerted the ASHAs and anganwadi workers who have contacts with the villages because of their field works, to alert the authorities in case of returnees from Maharashtra. They have been told to subject them to tests in case they haven’t been tested on their return as per the new government order.

“As of now, the situation is normal with two to three cases per day being reported locally in the two taluks. In case of a spurt in infection, as discussed with the deputy commissioner earlier, we may have to consider putting up checkposts in the taluk borders to screen and test returnees. Presently, instructions had been given to keep an eye on the returnees and persuade them to undergo RT-PCR tests if they haven’t done it while returning to their homes from Maharashtra,” said Mandya DHO Manche Gowda.

Many from K.R. Pet and Nagamangala taluks work in Maharashtra in various professions. After the lockdown curbs were lifted and the situation returned to normal with drop in cases, people from the two taluks returned to their respective professions. Now, with a fresh spurt in cases and growing threat of lockdown once again in the neighbouring State, there are possibilities of return of the residents.

At one point of time, Mandya had the maximum cases after Bengaluru last year and majority of these cases had come from these two taluks. Therefore, the authorities are on alert to avoid a 2020-like situation.

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