Counsellors help those in home isolation

Counsellors help those in home isolation

Representative image. (Credit: iStockPhoto)

We have screened every single passenger who has arrived here. From today, no international commercial flights will be allowed to land for a week. We send international passengers to quarantine facilities and keep them there for 14 days. We ensure that they are either at a quarantine facility or under home quarantine. From Kalaburagi, we had to trace more than 300 contacts of the deceased and his doctor,” said Jawaid Akhtar, Additional Chief Secretary (Health). 

The sixth Covid-19 case in Karnataka, now deceased, had returned to Kalaburagi from Saudi Arabia. Dr BG Prakash Kumar, Joint Director, Communicable Diseases, Department of Health and Welfare said, “His doctor saw 30-40 patients in his clinic every day. His contact tracing is still going on.”

It’s not just contact tracing of India’s first Covid-19 casualty and his doctor that has proven to be a task, even the BBMP has found it challenging owing to which it formed as many as 100 teams on Friday to trace primary and secondary contacts of all cases reported from Bengaluru.

As far as isolation is concerned, the challenges present in three ways -- persuading a patient to self-quarantine himself or herself at home or in the hospital, ensuring that his mental wellbeing is undisturbed during the period and monitoring them so that they do not move out of the hospitals or come into contact with the general public from homes out of boredom.

A medico social worker and a doctor with experience in public health and community medicine have been put on the job to convince patients of the seriousness of the situation. Nearly 4,000 counselling sessions have been held so far to ensure that those in home quarantine do not slip into depression.

In a first, the local beat police and revenue department officials have been roped in apart from existing municipality and health staff of the area to regularly monitor the home-quarantined passengers.

According to International Federation of Red Cross, the stigma attached to coronavirus can drive people to hide the illness to avoid discrimination, prevent people from seeking immediate healthcare, and discourage them from adopting healthy behaviours.

What works is showing empathy with those affected, understanding the disease itself, and adopting effective, practical measures so people can help keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

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