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Yogi has sent an army of Corona warriors to check Corona’s spread in Rural Uttar Pradesh

Author: Shantanu Gupta
Publication: The Times of India
Date: May 12, 2021
URL:   https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/yogi-has-sent-an-army-of-corona-warriors-to-check-coronas-spread-in-rural-uttar-pradesh/

In the first wave of Corona, UP faced the challenge of handling lakhs of migrant workers returning back to UP from Delhi and Maharashtra, starting massive numbers of Corona testing labs, creating containment zones, contact tracing, making masks, PPE Kits, sanitizers available to the medical practitioners and people. Yogi govt handled these challenges with robust strategy and alacrity and even WHO praised Yogi Government for its Covid Management.

Among the various challenges posed by Corona’s second wave – a difficult one is to check Corona’s spread in nearly one lakh villages of Uttar Pradesh. Yogi government is tackling it on war footing basis. On May 5th Yogi government has initiated house-to-house active case finding of Covid-19 in rural areas to contain transmission by testing people with Covid symptoms, followed by rapid isolation, disease management and contact tracing. 

Yogi government has deployed 141,610 teams and 21,242 supervisors from the state health department for this activity to ensure all rural areas are covered. This massive army of corona warriors is moving across all the 97,941 villages of Uttar Pradesh across 75 districts in India’s most populous state with a population of 230 million.

These monitoring teams of two member each, are visiting each and every rural household to test everyone with symptoms of Covid-19 using Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) kits. They are not leaving even remotest of the hamlets of Uttar Pradesh. During the Rapid Antigen testing, those who test positive are quickly being isolated and given a medicine kit with a detailed advice on disease management. All the contacts of those who test positive are quarantined and tested using an RT-PCR at home by a rapid response team. People without symptoms of Covid-19 are urged to get vaccinated and were made aware about Covid-appropriate behaviours to prevent any further transmission in rural areas of India’s most populated state.

Two mobile vans have been allocated to each Block within a district in the state to test people with symptoms. This massive exercise it over and above the routine sample collection and testing, that is happening in Community Health Centres (CHCs).

To monitor this massive activity, Yogi government is taking the support of World Health Organization (WHO). WHO has also supported the Yogi government in training and micro planning for the activity. WHO field officers are also on the ground to monitor and share real-time feedback with the government for immediate corrective action to ensure quality. WHO officers are randomly selecting and monitoring over 2000 government teams every day and visiting at least 10,000 households themselves.

Readers might remember that micro planning, house-to-house visits, concurrent monitoring and constant follow ups were core to India’s polio eradication strategy to ensure no one misses access to vaccination and health care services. Same strategy is being used here by the Yogi government to check the spread of Corona in one lakh villages of Uttar Pradesh.  

- Shantanu Gupta is an author and TV commentator.
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