From contact tracing to shifting of cured to home: COVID Monitoring Cell at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation doing its part

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Bhubaneswar: With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading its tentacles across the spectrum of the urban populace in the Temple City and people from other parts of the State depending upon the state-of-the art health-care delivery system here, the COVID Monitoring Cell at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come as a major respite with its tireless work comprising several layers of teams to perform the job from the receipt of the time of specimen referral form (SRF) to shifting of patients to health-care facilities and also getting the recovered ones safely to their homes.
During this process of intense tasking and monitoring of the data and situations, several nodal officers managing Contact Tracing, Data Entry and Management, Home Isolation, Shifting, Cure Case Management and 1929 Helpline are the key players to make the process move and help the people affected with the virus.
With meticulous planning, patience and perseverance the teams maintaining a perfect sync among themselves are doing their job and helping people, through their dedicated work schedule extended beyond duty hours to see smiles on the faces of the cured cases and help the city in fighting the battle against COVID-19. Here goes the brief report on how the COVID Monitoring Cell at BMC is operating.
Contact Tracing
Contact tracing is the process of identifying, assessing, and managing people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and to prevent onward transmission. When systematically applied, contact tracing breaks the chains of transmission of COVID-19 and is an essential public health tool for controlling the virus. Contact tracing requires identifying people who might have been exposed to the Corona virus and the follow-up process continues on daily-basis for 14 days.
In the first step the data or personal details and phone numbers get downloaded from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) websites at BMC. The data is shared with the team of Community Medicine and AYUSH doctors at the Conference Hall of BMC where the Control Room is operating with participation of officials from BMC, Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM).
The contact tracing team consisting doctors are drawn from three medical colleges i.e. SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Saheed Laxman Nayak Medical College and Hospital, Koraput and Fakir Mohan Medical College and Hospital, Balasore. There are six doctors from these three medical colleges and hospitals and all are specializing with Community Medicine. Similarly, there are seven AYUSH doctors from the National Health Mission project.
For contact tracing while 12 rapid response teams (RRTs) on site, two teams are at the COVID Monitoring Cell at BMC and one team at Bhubaneswar Smart City. The Nodal Officer Contact Tracing supervises the entire process in coordination with other nodal officers for data management, shifting, home isolation and cure case management.
Data Entry & Management
The nodal officer data entry and management coordinates with contact tracers, home isolation, floor nodal officer for positive case shifting. He and his team collect the filled in contact tracing forms from the RRTs at BMC and ensures that the forms are filled perfectly before the entry of the data to the Sachetak App. The team also coordinates with the Zonal Deputy Commissioners (ZDCs), Health and NHM teams for filling up the follow-up formats in the web portal.
Home Isolation
The team examines each case in which the person has shown willingness for home isolation during contact tracing. It also forwards all such cases to ZDCs for enquiries of the facilities available and the health condition of the patient. The team also gets house visit report from RRTs concerned regarding availability of separate rooms and toilets for patient isolation and receive consent for home isolation through the RRTs. The team also coordinates among nodal officers of contact tracing, floor, shifting and data entry to enable them to take actions at their ends.
Shifting
The shifting team is divided in two tier manner for shifting of positive cases to COVID health-care facilities as well as shifting of the cured cases from COVID health facilities to their homes. While the floor nodal officer for positive case shifting will share the positive cases as and when compiled during the day to nodal officer shifting, Capital Hospital for facilitating smooth shifting to the COVID health-care centres, the nodal officer for cured cases will work in tandem with others and submit the list to nodal officer shifting at Capital Hospital for facilitating their return to their homes.
3 ZDCs for three zones
As BMC is divided into three administrative zones, i.e. North, South East and South West the ZDCs work in sync to coordinate with the RRTs, ASHA, Anganwadi and ANM workers, maintaining their respective zonal database, supervising the work of their subordinates, coordinating with police and squads for enforcement (if any), creating social awareness through COVID Sachetaks, Peer Leaders, Ward Sachetak Committees and popularizing use and downloads of Sachetak App, among others.
The three ZDCs are also involved in motivating community participation through the active and proactive roles of the slum committees, resident welfare associations, Puja committees and Ward Sachetak Committees for effective COVID-19 management.
Cure Case Management
The team under the Cure Case Management Nodal Officer collects data of cured cases as per the prevailing discharge protocol on daily basis from different COVID health-care facilities. The team also remains in contact with Nodal Officer Home Isolation along with data of those positive cases who have completed the prescribed period and considered as cured after due vetting through Additional District Urban Public Health Officer (ADUPHO). While it compiles data on daily basis, the team also verifies from the Authorization Officers of the COVID health-care facilities on cases of overstay by active positive cases and declared them cured after due procedure.
1929 Helpline at Smart City
The staff deployed at the “1929 Call Centre’’ at Bhubaneswar Smart City office handle calls especially on five categories: 1. Monitoring of home isolation cases, 2. Overall monitoring and feedback from possible cases in different COVID care facilities or hospitals across the city, 3. Flight travelers coming to the city through the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), 4. Taking feedback from the Corona Frontline Warriors i.e. doctors, enforcement teams, shifting staff and home quarantine teams and 5. Getting updates on patients in intensive care units (ICUs)/ventilator support to their family members.
Documentation
The documentation team at the COVID Monitoring Cell at BMC work for the various media related posts, news reports and preparation of presentations as to disseminate the communication and IEC (information, education & communication) activities. The team also does regular social media postings with the handles of BMC, BDA and BSCL in order to create awareness and also documenting the work in print and electronic media by creating meaningful and fact-based reporting.

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