Sharmili Mallick

Bhubaneswar: Keeping in view the interest of public health and to break the chain of COVID-19, the Odisha government has issued a set of instructions to be scrupulously adhered in matters related to areas declared as containment zones across the State.

Chief Secretary of Odisha, Asit Tripathy in a letter to the DGP and all Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries/ Commissioner-cum-Secretaries, Collectors/ Commissioner of Police, Municipal Commissioners, Executive Officers of Municipalities/ NACs has stated that Containment Zones will be established to contain the disease and establishment of these zones will be based on technical considerations.

The establishment of containment zones is to isolate possible contacts/infections in the area, the Chief Secretary has stated in the letter.

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“The district administration/municipal administration needs to function in tandem with the health authorities. The notification of containment zones will be subject to clearance by the Principal Secretary, Health or any senior officer authorized by the concerned authority and the area under these zones will encompass relevant contagious vulnerable area only,” the letter added.

The containment zones should be barricaded from all sides prohibiting entry and exit of people and a vulnerability mapping will be done for households with single women, aged persons with no support, pregnant women, seriously ill persons and persons with disabilities and have focused attention planed for them, Chief Secretary Tripathy ordered.

Once an area is contained, teams of Anganwadi workers, ANMs and other health workers and teachers will visit house to house to check health conditions of the people in the zone. Their work will be supervised by medical officers and technical guidance for such surveillance shall be provided by community medicine and epidemiology experts from medical colleges and Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) in Bhubaneswar.

“The samples of all the people having flu like symptoms shall be collected and tested to find out the possible infections. Samples of asymptomatic persons may also be collected at random to rule out any local transmission,” said the order.

Adequate IEC activities shall be carried out by the concerned Collector and Municipal Commissioner to communicate the rationale and the modalities of containment.

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The Chief Secretary has further ordered that the concerned Municipal Commissioner/ Collector will take all possible steps to provide essential commodities, medicines and other requirements at the door steps of every family in the area declared as containment zone. Special needs of PWDs and other vulnerable people shall be taken care of by the concerned authorities.

Moreover, WhatsApp group will be created which will include prominent persons of the area so that appropriate information sharing can be carried out including sampling, testing and outcomes in the containment zone.