Kasargod in Kerala that accounted for 35 per cent of the state’s Coronavirus cases is now free of the disease with the last positive patient returning home after getting cured. The northern most district has set an example on how to fight a pandemic.
Even though graph of Coroana cases shot up in Kasargod from day 1, the district administration never pressed the panic button but envisaged various strategies and fought the raising coronas cases. This was all done because of the stringent measures and the people’s participation.
On March 15, there were no positive cases in the district. But the cases rose to 155 in just 25 days and the district accounted for the most number of cases in Kerala. In the first phase, there were only a few cases. But the cases began to increase after March 17 with the arrival of people from Middle East. With Kasargod becoming a hotspot, a panic was spread across the state.
District Surveillance Officer Dr A T Manoj was quoted as saying that they could achieve this because of strict surveillance mechanism. He said that all the cases were traced with no traces of any missing link. The virus spread could be limited within the families only, he said. The other measures included quarantine of up to 55 days, intensive sealing of local hotspots and aggressive home surveys.
Once there was a spurt in the cases, the government mobilised its entire machinery, including shifting doctors and other health workers from Thiruvananthapuram medical College to Kasargod. The team coordinated with the health workers in the district. The two government hospitals were converted into Covid centres. A medical college under construction was also converted into a Covid centre.
All hotspots in the district were sealed and no vehicles from other districts were allowed after March 17. The people were not allowed to venture out of the house in hotspot areas. Te police arranged supply of provisions to the needy with the help of volunteers.
Apart from the surveillance, the health workers also held a door to door survey. All the suspected patients were hospitalised.
With Kasargod becoming a covid free district, the district administration is now gearing up for a second phase of surveillance. A large number of expats are arriving in the district from abroad and from hotspots in other parts of the country, which makes the task a bit difficult.