Tracing contacts a Herculean task

Tracing contacts a Herculean task

The district administration is faced with Herculean task of identifying those who came in contact with the 76-year-old Covid-19 victim and his family members as people are not coming forward to undergo health check-up, despite the best efforts.

The authorities are finding it difficult to trace the foreign-returned as they have no proper data about the same. To make the situation worse, they are not visiting hospitals for check-up on their own.

After the 76-year-old man, India’s first Covid-19 victim, returned from Saudi Arabia on February 29, he was doing well. Before he developed illness, the elderly man might have met his relatives and friends. Despite the claims by his family members that he did not venture out since his return, the district health department suspects that the victim may have transmitted the virus to those who came in direct contact with him.

As the victim was a sadar qazi, the people of his community used to meet him. Going by his background, the victim might have contacted the people in the city.

The Covid-19 victim was healthy till March 6 and received treatment from family doctors for 2-3 days before being admitted to a private hospital on March 9.

After he came back from Saudi, his friends are said to have been arranged a party for him at a dabha on the outskirts of the city. On learning about it, the district administration has kept five to seven people of the dabha under a home quarantine.

“The district authorities is facing a tough ask in identifying those who contacted him, his family members and took part in his last rites. More than 1,000 people should have been home-quarantined but we are unable to get the details,” said an officer on condition of anonymity. 

Admitting that those who came in contact with the victim or the family members are not voluntarily coming forward, Deputy Commissioner B Sharat appealed to such people to arrive for health check up to contain the further spread of the Covid-19. “We have kept a total of 238 people under a close watch. We suspect that about 370 people were in constant touch with the victim or his family members,” he said.  

“The foreign-returned should also undergo check up on their own. A total of 61 people have returned from the foreign trips to date. We have identified them through the helpline set up in the district,” he added.

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