ITANAGAR, Mar 8: No case of Covid-19 has been detected in Arunachal as of date, and the state has strengthened all surveillance and containment measures against the possible spread of the virus, the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme’s (IDSP) State Surveillance Officer, Dr L Jampa, said in a release on Sunday.
The health department has advised the public to adhere to the health advisories issued by the state government.
“Public should follow proper respiratory/cough etiquette by covering the nose and mouth using handkerchief/towel while sneezing/coughing and do frequent hand washing with soap and water. Those who have arrived from Covid-19 affected countries should remain under strict home quarantine if they are found to be asymptomatic, while in the symptomatic, the IDSP will make arrangement for the sample collection for testing by PCR in either GMC/RMRC, ICMR Dibrugarh,” the release said.
The health department had already written to all the deputy commissioners on 30 January, instructing them to review preparedness, activate surveillance, and spread awareness on the coronavirus, it said.
A 24×7 control room has been set up at the state IDSP unit to respond to queries related to the coronavirus, such as travel advisories, guidance documents and the do’s and don’ts.
“Anyone requiring information may contact the control room at 9436055743, 8837052402 and 9999723102,” the release said.
It said isolation wards for Covid-19 positive cases have been identified at the district hospitals/general hospitals, the TRIHMS, and the BPGH (Pasighat).
“Till date, as per information shared by the central government with the IDSP’s state surveillance unit, there are 12 people from Arunachal Pradesh who have travelled from Covid-19 affected countries. Out of the 12, six are presently based outside the state and are asymptomatic, and their contact details have been shared with the respective state SSUs.
“Two passengers, who are also asymptomatic, are in the state and have been advised home quarantine for 14 days from their date of arrival and are under daily observation by the district surveillance unit (DSU),” it said.
“As the contact details of the remaining four passengers are not available, the DSUs are currently in the process of tracking and physically verifying their whereabouts,” the release said.
Preparedness for Covid-19 discussed
DIPRO adds: Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Komkar Dulom convened an emergency meeting with pharmacists and chemists here on Sunday to discuss the precautionary measures to be adopted against the coronavirus (Covid-19).
The DC expressed concern that even as rumours abound about Covid-19, the unavailability of masks and hand sanitizers in the markets has further added to the worry.
Dulom urged Arunachal Pradesh Chemist & Druggist Association president Pawan Bagang, who is also the distributor of hand sanitizers, to ensure availability of these products in the markets as early as possible.
He also urged the pharmacists and chemists to not take undue advantage of the situation by increasing the prices of these two products.
Bagang informed that there are more than 800 registered pharmacies in the capital region, “and efforts are on to make hand sanitizers available at every pharmacy.”
He stressed on proper screening of travellers at the entry gates, if possible.
TRIHMS Deputy Chief Medical Superintendent, Dr Tao Kakki, informed that a six-bedded block of the institute has been identified as an isolation ward, adding that the ward’s capacity can be raised to 35.
The DC stated that he would ask the RKM Hospital also to set up an isolation ward. He directed Itanagar SDPO Kamdam Sikom to facilitate screening at the check gates, the railway station and the helipad, if required.
All suspected cases of Covid-19 should be taken immediately to the TRIHMS, he said.
As high temperature reportedly slows down the spread of the virus, the DC appealed to the residents of the capital complex to “consume hot food and beverages, and also maintain hygiene.”
Urging the public to not jump to conclusions based on rumour-mongering, Dulom said strict legal action would be taken against those who spread misinformation and fear on social media.
“All necessary measures are being taken by the administration to stop the spread of the virus to the region,” he said.
DMO Dr Mandip Perme informed that the health department is prepared for any kind of emergency.
“The mortality rate by the virus, which has a slow rate of spreading, is 2 percent; therefore people should not panic but remain alert and follow the basic dos and don’ts in fighting the virus,” he said.
Among others, the meeting was attended by the executive magistrates, police officers, and medical officers of the capital region.