COVID-19 in Bengal: samples to be collected from those without symptoms too in clusters & quarantine centres

West Bengal government on Thursday said that swab samples for testing Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be collected from all symptomatic as well as asymptomatic direct contacts and those who have a high-risk of having been in contact with an affected person in a COVID-19 cluster or a quarantine centre.

For the purpose of implementing cluster containment strategy, the government has marked those areas which have reported relatively high number of COVID-19 cases as high-risk areas.

Earlier this week, the government in a set of guidelines made it mandatory for people aged 45 years and above, showing symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) after coming in contact with infected persons and having co-morbidities to be sent into hospital isolation. If they test positive for COVID-19, they will be moved to COVID-19 hospitals.

Those who have come in contact with COVID-19 infected persons but are below 45-years and lacking co-morbidities, will be sent to institutional quarantine, it said. People who are the secondary contacts of persons with COVID-19 and are asymptomatic, will be home quarantined and monitored.

The health facilities have been asked to ensure that there are concrete rules for deciding on the urgency and treatment of respective cases.

Local health workers have been asked to visit the houses in their respective areas and look out for people showing symptoms of influenza-like illnesses and severe acute respiratory illness. Such symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and respiratory troubles among others.

Authorities have been asked to ensure that local health workers as well as those working in fever clinics of all health facilities are provided with appropriate protective gears.

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