House To House Tracing
House To House Tracing

On Sunday, the state recorded a high of 911 fresh cases of Covid-19 as the administration embarked on a new strategy of test optimization in suspected zones under the appellation of house-to-house testing. The shock absorber to the exceedingly steep escalation of fresh cases was the equally unprecedented number of 6320 tests conducted as the part of a vigorous push to track down and treat those who have contracted the virus. The number of tests conducted on a single day have not exceeded the 6ooo mark before. In fact during the preceding three days the number of tests conducted were 4390, 5400, and 5950, reflecting a gradual increase. However, even though more testing is likely to lead to detection of more fresh cases, it does not necessarily mean higher positivity rate. For instance, despite the dizzying rise in the number of cases, the positivity rates on Saturday and Sunday with higher number of tests was just 13.24 percent and 14.41 percent respectively, compared to that of the previous two days of 15.77 percent and 19.11 percent despite having lower test counts.

It is apparent that the state government is casting a wide net after being driven into desperation by the relentless sway of the Covid-19 and the ignominy of being bracketed by the Union Home Ministry among six states in the whole country with a defective controlling policy over the number of fresh cases. In any case, the house-to-house screening campaign is a massive step with the right intent and we will stand with the government throughout the journey, however long it takes to fight the deadly virus. We also express our solidarity with the hundreds of field workers who will be visiting houses in different localities, some of which are completely strange.

The mobile tracing method is likely to be a more successful one in tracing infected persons than random testing at a particular location or mass testing and probably will even lead to more fruitful tracking of close contacts in the whole village or a settlement. Once the field workers test two individuals from every household as mentioned in the plan it can culminate in a situation where the whole household in a particular block or a locality can be separated in two distinct groups of Coronavirus free or infected after a hard day’s work. A particular household can be eliminated from further scrutiny as safe or led to mass testing for all members along with pursuance of treatment and containment plans if one or both the nominated members are negative or positive of the disease in the tests. Thus, in a short matter of time, after accomplishing the status of locality after locality, the predominance of Covid-19 in a wide spread of area can be determined to the least degree of risk taking. Followed by red tagging of the households with infections (simultaneously with treatment steps), curtailing any sort of interaction among the two groups, and supervising unwanted movement, the area can be swept clean off the presence of the contagion. Another salient feature of this new policy of detection is it will usher in prompt identification of asymptomatic cases, meaning prompt isolation, prompt hospitalisation and prompt treatment. The time saved will result in saving hundreds of lives.

It is however no surprise that the tracing of the virus has to come to a point where the resources of the government are being exhausted in banging each and every door. One of the reasons for this is that many sections of the public have not understood the severity of the pandemic even at this point and did not take up their responsibility to end the chain of infection with themselves or before. Every time we violate the restrictions and try to get around the appropriate behaviors prescribed, we have put ourselves and our close social circles at risk and helped to carry forward the infection. The administration might have made mistakes in the implementation of the lockdown and other enforcement of strategies to curb the pandemic but it has shown time and again its willingness to improve itself.

In the coming days, the numbers of fresh cases will invariably rise because of the combination of mass testing, random testing and mobile testing, and the coverage of beneficiaries of the test will exceed the past numbers too. The public must not panic at the sheer size of upcoming figures of fresh cases in the next few days but look at it from a positive side and try to get comfortable with the promises of the new policy of making inroads and ability to sniff out the positive cases from the hideouts. During this period, the people should respond respectfully to the call of the government to stay at homes unless for emergency cases and do everything possible not to get infected or get others infected.