Tamil Nadu Lockdown Diary | Health workers battling COVID-19 and fear

Kandamangalam Block has five Primary Health Centers at Puranasingupalayam, Kondur, Siruvanthadu, Rampakkam and Kandamangalam.

Greeshma Kuthar June 13, 2020 21:26:26 IST

For chief civil surgeon and block medical officer (BMO) Dr Aarthi R, who has worked in Kandamangalam Block for 22 years, navigating through pandemic protocol while ensuring her team's mental and physical well-being is a multi-faceted task.

Speaking to Firstpost, she takes us through the steps involved in monitoring, tracking and following up with every individual in the block. For every 5000 people, there is one village health nurse and a supervisor.

Kandamangalam Block has five Primary Health Centers at Puranasingupalayam, Kondur, Siruvanthadu, Rampakkam and Kandamangalam.

These serve as the nodal points for all mapping operations. Additionally, there are 31 Health-Sub Centres (HSC). The healthcare workers track them every day through phone calls and house visits where they note down those who are displaying symptoms or are developing symptoms. These visits mean direct exposure, say Neela and T Samaresan, 58, the block health inspector.

One such daunting incident occurred when Mr A, who had returned from Chennai, submitted his test sample and displayed absolutely no symptoms. However, his results came back positive for COVID 19 the next day, putting the entire team who was exposed to him at risk.

In spite of this, the team tested primary contacts dutifully, the next day. The patient's house was barricaded from all sides, and Mr Samerasan, the health inspector who had spent 48 hours with the patient, fortunately, tested negative.

The strategy is to closely monitor those living with positive patients, especially if they have comorbidities (diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and lung disease).

According to the team, it's Dr Aarthi's dedication, passionate speeches, and above all; staying on top of her work end-to-end that keeps them going no matter what.

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