Covid-19: The Ministry of Health on Sunday issued a detailed guidelines on Covid containment and management in peri-urban, rural and tribal areas. It has suggested surveillance, screening, home and community based isolation and planning for health infrastructure for managing Covid at rural level.

In a detailed 35-page report, the ministry says that in every village, active surveillance should be done for influenza-like illness/severe acute respiratory infections periodically by ASHA with help of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee (VHSNC).

Symptomatic cases, it says, can be triaged at village level by tele consultation with community health officer, and cases with comorbidity/low oxygen saturation should be sent to higher centres.

“Every sub-centre should run an ILI/SARI (illness/ severe acute respiratory infections) OPD for a dedicated time slots/days,” it said. The ministry also says that identified suspected Covid cases should link for testing to the health facilities either through rapid antigen testing or by referral of samples to nearest testing laboratory, in accordance with ICMR guidelines.

The ministry says that CHOs (community health officer) and ANMs should be trained in performing Rapid Antigen Testing. Provision of Rapid Antigen Test kits should be made at all public health facilities including sub-centres/health and wellness centres and Primary Health Centres (PHCs). The Covid patients should also be counselled to isolate themselves till test results are available.

“Those asymptomatic but having history of high-risk exposure to COVID patients (exposure of more than 15 mins without a mask within 6 feet distance) should be advised quarantine and tested as per ICMR protocol,” the report says.

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