The Assam government on Thursday (7 May) started community-based surveillance for Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) across the state to contain the possible spread of Covid-19, Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
Briefing the media, he said that under the Assam Community Surveillance Plan (ACSP), health workers including doctors would go to the 25,000 villages to identify the ILI and SARI cases in the villages and as and when required, samples would be collected for testing.
"The symptoms of ILI and Covid-19 are similar. That's why the ILI and SARI surveillance, subsequent actions and remedies are essential," the Minister said.
He said that the ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) and MPW (Multi-Purpose Workers) along with other health staffers would be the front line workers to undertake this vital work.
Senior health officials said that to undertake the ACSP effectively and monitor it on a daily basis, a State Level Task Force headed by the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, and a State Level Coordination Committee led by Commissioner and Secretary of the Department have been formed.
"Assam was successful in breaking the chain of transmission and containment of Covid-19 epidemic in the state in the first phase. To further strengthen the mechanism, the surveillance would strengthen the vital effort," an official said.
They said that this programme would also strengthen the supervision for other diseases like Japanese encephalitis, malaria, dengue, measles, and rubella. The ACSP would ensure that all SARI and ILI cases are tested for Covid-19, and then map and link the places and accordingly, plan for adequate beds and ICU facilities.
Deputy Commissioners of all 33 districts would be responsible for the execution of the ACSP. Out of the 54 coronavirus positive cases found so far, Assam currently has 19 active cases while the rest were discharged from the hospitals after their recovery from the dreaded diseases while one person died last month in southern Assam.
During the media briefing, Sarma also said that the state's recovery and mortality rates are around 76 per cent and 2.22 per cent against the national average of 28 per cent and 3.37 per cent respectively.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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