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TN CS asks district collectors to step up vigil as COVID-19 cases likely to spike in Oct

Normal activity of administration including development works and implementation of welfare schemes should be resumed speedily but with care and caution. "Keep the district administration in full alert to monitor the disease trend and be prepared to handle, if any spike in the coming days," the top bureaucrat said.

PTI | Chennai | Updated: 04-09-2020 23:01 IST | Created: 04-09-2020 22:47 IST
TN CS asks district collectors to step up vigil as COVID-19 cases likely to spike in Oct
Representative Image. Image Credit: ANI

With industrial units, commercial establishments, public transport and temples among others resuming activities in Tamil Nadu in Unlock 4, the state government on Friday asked the district collectors to step up vigil. The Collectors should also increase information, education and communication (IEC) campaign, as coronavirus cases are expected to spike in October, Chief Secretary K Shanmugam said.

Calling upon the district administration to mount IEC campaign to create public awareness and educate public on the self-imposed discipline and accountability in COVID control, Shanmugam said COVID-19 cases are expected to spike next month "if no proper discipline is enforced or observed by public in using face mask, maintaining social distancing in public places or failing to observe personal hygiene." In a letter to the collectors following his video conference interaction with the bureaucrats earlier in the day, the chief secretary complimented them and heads of health, police, revenue and local administration and other frontline departments for their role in controlling the pandemic. "As we are still in the critical stage of the battle against COVID-19, you are instructed not to let down the guard and there should not be any complacency at any level," he said.

Under the changing circumstances, the collectors should be more vigilant on COVID control due to several relaxations issued from September 1 for opening up more economic activities. "All of you should be aware that the worst time in pandemic management is yet to come," Shanmugam said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media.

The strategy now clearly shifts from lockdown restriction to containment zone management with effective perimeter control, so that normal life of people is resumed, he said and added if the need arose, more containment areas can be formed. "The shift is from government driven testing, isolation, treating strategy to public driven testing, quarantine, isolation and treatment strategy." "The role of administration now is for strategic and focused intervention to control disease spread and to provide adequate facilities for testing and treatment both private and government," he said.

Depending upon requirement, the collectors could increase the number of sample collection centres both in rural and urban areas to ensure easy access for testing by the public. In the process, more private hospitals could be encouraged to augment their testing, treatment facilities and also to provide more care centres for persons who can afford to pay, so that the pressure on government facilities is reduced.

Collectors should monitor the charges levied by private hospitals and ensure that the government guidelines in this regard are followed, he said. As far as possible, asymptomatic and mild patients should be encouraged to take home isolation for treatment with close monitoring.

"Be prepared to handle the crisis in October, if there is a possible spike in disease trend. Get prepared to relocate COVID care centres in educational institutions as these institutions are likely to be opened in near future," he advised. Normal activity of administration including development works and implementation of welfare schemes should be resumed speedily but with care and caution.

"Keep the district administration in full alert to monitor the disease trend and be prepared to handle, if any spike in the coming days," the top bureaucrat said.


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