Mysuru adopts ‘test, trace and treat’ plan to fight resurgent COVID-19

Asymptomatic youth are becoming ‘super’ spreaders’ if the recent trend in infections are an indication

Amidst the big surge of COVID-19 cases in Mysuru, the district administration is keeping its entire focus on ‘test, trace and treat’ strategy. More stringent restrictions, barring the night curfew, appear unlikely at this stage for keeping the economic activities, unlike the previous wave, undisturbed.

Mysuruis the second largest vaccinated district in the State with more than three lakh persons receiving the shots. An average 25,000 persons get the shots daily. Daily testing has also crossed the 6,000-mark with efforts to ramp up to 8,000 swab tests a day. The tracing of primary contacts has been activated by the war room.

Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri on Saturday said, “Our current concern is the surge in fatalities and dearth of ICU beds with rise in patients shifted to hospitals with complications. The best way to minimise the severity is vaccination. In March, 28 people died and 15 so far in April. The laxity among the people should go and those aged above 45 should volunteer to take the jab.”

Participating in a meet-the-press programme organised by Mysuru District Journalists’ Association, she said asymptomatic youth testing positive are turning out to be key spreaders, and the recent spike is being attributed to them. Late testing and late hospital admission are causing complications and resulting in deaths, especially among patients with many co-morbidities, she explained.

Mysuru has 8.5 lakh persons above 45 years and the target is to vaccinate all of them at the earliest. Between April 11 and 14, many sections would be covered in the vaccination sessions planned as part of ‘Lasike Utsava’ even as officials are on the job of convincing people showing resistance to the shots.

Defending the night curfew, Ms. Sindhuri said an infected man last year became a ‘super spreader’, infecting nearly 250 people after participating in night gambling sessions that are prevalent during the ensuing festival season. Such events can be avoided with the imposition of night curfew. This decision has been taken after consulting experts.

She also defended the curbs imposed during the recent Nanjangud car festival and said the district administration was criticised but the decision was taken in the larger interest of keeping the spread under check.

To a question, Ms. Sindhuri said beds are filling up fast and the district administration is open to establishing more COVID-19 Care Centres if the situation worsens.

On the vaccination coverage, she said 330 sites are active, including 40 in private hospitals that are administering vaccines supplied by the government for free. “We got 1.50 lakh doses and the stocks will exhaust in a day or two and fresh indent will be placed. We need five lakh doses to cover the eligible population.”

The private hospitals have now reserved 20 per cent beds for COVID-19 patients, she replied.

On the confusion over her advisory on COVID-19 negative report, she said it was an advisory and the report was not mandatory. But it caused confusion, resulting in intervention from the government. “We had to withdraw the advisory to end the confusion.”

The seal down rules that had been discontinued after the fall in cases will soon be imposed in a new method to contain the spread in view of daily cases inching closer to the300-mark. Instead of sealing down a lane or a neighbourhood, micro-containment zones will be established where specific infected areas are identified and isolated, she explained.

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