Fever survey shows high degree of community spread in urban slums in Old City

Unlike the first two COVID-19 waves, this time a higher number of cases are being reported from urban slums, particularly in the southern part of the city.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  20 Jan 2022 11:20 AM GMT
Fever survey shows high degree of community spread in urban slums in Old City

Hyderabad: Unlike the first two COVID-19 waves, this time a higher number of cases are being reported from urban slums, particularly in the southern part of the city. The NGO Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) which runs basti clinics in urban slums has taken up comprehensive fever surveillance to identify, track, test, and monitor COVID-19 at the community level.

The fever surveillance is being done in the catchments area of the basti clinics which the NGO runs in the slums. The survey is being done in 10 areas in the vicinity of each clinic in Hasanagar, Shaheenagar, Rajendarnagar, and NS Kunta.

A team of volunteers is working on door-to-door vaccination drive in the catchment areas of the basti clinics. They are also checking for those suffering from fever and directing them to the basti clinic for evaluation and testing. The surveyors are filling out forms and checking for fever and a separate team of paramedics is running Rapid Antigen test on the suspected cases.

So far, 250 Rapid Antigen tests (RAT) have been done in 10 slum areas in Rajendranagar, 140 in Shaheenagar, 50 in Wadi Mahmood, 40 in Hasanagar, and 25 in NS Kunta.

Positivity rate between 13 to 17%

In children below 10 years, a high-grade fever was reported between 100 and 103 Fahrenheit with complaints of cold and cough. In adults, fever in the range of 99-101 was reported along with complaints of body pains, sore throat, headache, and weakness with fatigue. The COVID positivity rate was between 13 to 17%, indicating a high degree of community spread this time in urban slums.

The survey also found that more than 95% of the patients are being managed under home care without the need for hospitalization.

Once a patient tests positive for COVID-19, they are given medication and counselling on COVID protocol by counselors and advised home isolation. None of the cases required oxygen or hospitalization so far.

Further, when the patient tests positive, the information is loaded into the tracker and a separate team comprising counselors is called in to check their health status and identify any adverse event like a drop in oxygen saturation and shortness of breath.

Mujtaba Hasan Askari of the Helping Hand Foundation said 30 members of their four primary health centers have been infected with COVID-19 in the last week. "It has become a huge challenge to deliver primary health services in our clinics," he said and added that this time the recovery window is shorter and most of the staff is returning to work in less than seven days which is good.

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