VISAKHAPATNAM: Visakhapatnam is on high alert after its first positive case of COVID-19 was reported on Thursday.
As many as 114 teams, comprising ANMs, health workers and volunteers, began a door-to-door survey of 7,800 houses around Allipuram to identify people who came in contact with the infected.
The patient is a 65-year-old who flew from Hyderabad to Mecca on February 26. He returned on March 10, boarded AC coach B1 of the Visakhapatnam-Kacheguda Express the next day, reached Vizag on March 12, and took an auto to his house at Vivekananda Nagar in Allipuram.
On March 14, he developed a cold and cough, and visited Suraksha Diagnostic Centre in Marripalem. He went there again on March 17, and doctors referred him to the Government TB and Chest Hospital, where he was admitted to the isolation ward and his samples were sent to SVIMS, Tirupati for testing. On March 19, the test results returned positive.
Three of patient’s kin shifted to isolation ward
Meanwhile, GVMC and DMHO authorities swung into action and cordoned off the area within a one-km radius of Allipuram.
The locality was sprayed with disinfectants, and three members of the infectee’s family were shifted to the isolation ward as a precautionary measure.
Their samples have been sent to SVIMS, Tirupati for testing. Vehicular traffic was disrupted from morning as officials cordoned off the region.
Visakhapatnam Joint Collector M Venugopal Reddy said the entire Allipuram was divided into two zones, with the contaminated zone being the region within a three-km radius from the infectee’s house and the buffer zone being within a five-km radius.
“Health teams are visiting all houses and people with symptoms are being identified and shifted to the quarantine ward at VIMS for 14 days,” he said.
The doctor who first treated the old man went into self-isolation at his residence. It has come to light that between March 12 and 17, the infectee visited his relatives. Officials are working on tracking all those who came in contact with the infectee.
Railway officials were asked for details of the passengers who travelled in the same compartment of the Visakhapatnam-Kacheguda Express that day, so they can be traced and quarantined.
However, they did not disclose why Marripalem, where the old man went twice, was not cordoned off and a door-to-door survey taken up to trace those who came into contact with him.