Door-to-door survey for COVID-19 may not be ideal at this point, says report

Earlier this week, the Union Home Ministry had said door-to-door surveys would be completed in coronavirus containment zones of Delhi by July 6

It took the country a little more than 200 days to reach the 3 million-mark. File photo: PTI

A report compiled by the AAP administration, Union Health Ministry, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), NITI Aayog, and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) noted that a door-to-door survey to screen the New Delhi’s population for COVID-19 “may not be suitable” at this point.

Earlier this week, the Union Home Ministry had said door-to-door surveys would be completed in coronavirus containment zones of Delhi by July 6, followed by a similar exercise across the national capital.

However, this plan was modified and the Delhi government on Saturday (July 4) directed district magistrates to start the COVID-19 survey outside containment zones, focusing on vulnerable sections in areas with sporadic cases, according to sources.

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The revised plan for the survey will ensure that the national capital’s population would be divided into three categories — containment zones (more than 420 currently), areas with isolated cases, and areas which have not reported any infections yet i.e. ‘free areas’.

“Now, the survey will be expanded in its scope beyond containment zones, focusing in areas where isolated cases have been reported. Vulnerable people who live in such areas will be priority as they are likely to catch infections rather more frequently,” a source said.

The door-to-door survey in containment zones was near complete when the home ministry issued its direction on last Monday.

Now, the survey outside containment zones will seek to identify people having influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) and the high risk individuals having co-morbidities.

“The focus on areas with isolated cases will ensure greater effectiveness of the survey as a general door-to-door approach will require more time and resources,” the source said.

The survey has been planned according to the directions of the central government, they said.

The Delhi government had last week launched the mammoth exercise to screen the national capitals population for coronavirus and fixed the deadline to complete the task by July 6. Hundreds of teams have been formed to carry out the survey.

The teams are armed with a mobile application — SS Corona — which will send real-time details to a dedicated web portal set up by the government.

Apart from basic details like name, age, address and contact number, the teams are feeding the mobile application with information such as every individuals travel history, whether or not they use the Centre’s Aarogya Setu app and if they have symptoms of influenza.

(With inputs from agencies)

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