No restriction on movement at Karnataka-Kerala border area: DK
Mangaluru: While asking people not to panic with reports of the new strain of COVID-19 emerging from Kerala, Dakshina Kannada District Health and Family Welfare Officer (DHO) H.R. Thimmaiah on Wednesday said those with respiratory problems and influenza-like illness should wear masks and visit the nearest health care centre for necessary tests and treatment.
Talking to reporters after attending a meeting chaired by Deputy Commissioner M.P. Mullai Muhilan and Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer K. Anandh, Dr Thimmaiah said Dakshina Kannada has not reported any active cases of COVID-19 so far, while the State has a total of 70 active cases.
The neighbouring Kasaragod district has been reporting an average of two cases per day. Of the 27 positive cases reported in Kasaragod, 25 have recovered following home isolation, he said.
“There is a lot of inter-state movement of persons. There will be no restriction in the movement,” Dr. Thimmaiah said. Health personnel are at the inter-state check-posts in Talapady in Mangaluru, Saaradka in Bantwal, Swarga and Sullya Padavu in Puttur and Jalsoor in Sullia, where people are being made aware of infection prevention and diagnosis measures. Awareness activity is being also done by health workers posted at railway stations and bus stands.
Dr. Thimmaiah said instructions have been given to hospitals to carry out RT-PCR tests of all persons found with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). Only one in 20 persons with influenza-like illness (ILI) will be tested for COVID-19. The State government has set a target of testing 320 persons per day in Dakshina Kannada.
The DHO said educational institutions have been told to get students with respiratory infections, including those returning from Kerala, tested at the nearest health facility. Similarly, those with COVID-19 symptoms following return from Sabarimala should also get tested. The prevalent cold climate is conducive to the spread of virus-causing influenza-like illness, he added.
District Disease Surveillance Officer Sadashiva said as many as one lakh testing kits were available at the testing centre at Government Wenlock Hospital. RT-PCR testing facility is also available at all the eight private medical colleges in Dakshina Kannada. The available viral transport media kits, which are used to send throat swabs to testing facilities, have been distributed among the government hospitals. The district is getting 1,000 VTM kits on Thursday, he said.
Dr. Thimmaiah said the district presently has a total of 10,986 beds. Of this 1,376 are oxygen-supported beds, while 722 are intensive care beds. As many as 336 are ventilator beds. Isolation facilities are available at the Government Wenlock Hospital, four taluk hospitals and eight community health centres in the district. The government and private hospitals in the district have abundant stock of oxygen for patients, he said.