Public health experts in TN look at the tumultuous year; All safety precautions must be continued
It is one year after the first case of COVID-19 was registered on March 7, 2020 in Tamil Nadu. The state has come a long way in controlling and managing the epidemic. But the increase in the number of fresh cases in some districts has increased the level of vigilance.
As a sense of decency has arisen in the public, the emergence of factions and non-adherence to safety norms is becoming a challenge for public health officials. The journey has not been easy. In March 2020, the state's positivity rate was 5.2%.
It increased to 10.5% in June, and decreased gradually from September, reaching 1.7% in December. After going below 1% in February 2021, for the first time since last March, the positivity rate is currently 1%.
Today, the state has 8,54,554 cases with 8,538,854 recoveries, 12,517 deaths and 3,952 active cases.
50,000 and 55,000 tests are being conducted every day in the state.
“The last one year was a 360-degree challenge because it was not an epidemic affecting the health sector but affected all sectors and individuals in one way or another. The early stages of the lockdown helped strengthen the health infrastructure. There was tremendous improvement in clinical management, which reduced case deaths. Secretary of Health J. Radhakrishnan said that clinging to the RT-PCR test was unique to the state and helps to limit the spread.
Among a variety of initiatives, aggressively tested, developing COVID-19 care centers to handle asymptomatic cases, setting up fever camps and screening centers for positive individuals, deciding who to send to hospitals Starting with the daily house-to-house survey pulse, the oximeter and thermal scanner, he said.
“The challenges to unlock with different levels are with different levels of relaxation, the recent trend of ignoring masks and standard operating procedures. [SOPs] Given the decline in post-peak numbers in July and August, it is a challenge for people not to follow public health guidance, despite fatigue and awareness, to change behavior.
The health secretary said, “We need to understand that vaccination is a milestone, we must continue wearing masks and avoid being negligent against the risks from new variants.”
TS Selvinayagam, director of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, has listed various measures to help combat the epidemic during its peak – temporary appointments, bed capacity and oxygen to support COVID-19 control activities. The expansion of beds, fever vessels, triage centers, interdepartmental coordination and operation of seroserve for epidemiological purposes.
“We went from full lockdown to unlock due to support from everyone including the government and citizens. The same is required for some other time. Otherwise, we will face the waves ahead. COVID-19 proper behavior should continue, ”he said.
It has been a challenging year, said Prabhdeep Kaur, Deputy Director of the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Epidemiology. “The state has extended case detection, testing, hospital facilities and a number of public health control measures, along with restrictions and lockdowns. In short, Tamil Nadu has done quite well compared to many other settings.
T. According to Jacob John, retired professor at Vellore's Christian Medical College, Vellore, the state has not done too bad, though there were some hiccups now and then.
“Due to the high-handed response across the country, people were tired and really tired when the time came for a high-response response. There was a mismatch in times when we needed strict control measures and when we actually implemented strict control measures, ”he said.
With the increase in the number of new COVID-19 infections in specific areas, Drs. John calls for a needs-based approach in vaccination that targets these areas.
The main problem is that the risk perception was low, Drs. Kaur said. “We don't know if there will be another wave or not. Risk is high and new variants have a tendency to spread rapidly. Wearing masks, avoiding crowds, trying to meet people at open places and getting vaccinated should be a priority. “
Dr. Kaur highlighted the need for early detection of bunches. “If we need to stop the outbreaks, then we have to pick it up quickly and do extensive contact tracing. It is important to maintain testing and tracing. We need to see if we are testing where we need to test – contacts, home and off settings, ”she said.
Dr. Radhakrishnan said, “While healthcare and frontline workers can be proud of what they can do in the early stages, despite serious scientific limitations, there is still a long way to go.”