Context- Early and systematic tracking of high-risk contacts helped Uttar Pradesh step up the fight against COVID-19.
What were the measures taken by UP government to control the outbreak?
Uttar Pradesh is the largest state in the country in terms of population and hence, the battle against COVID-19 becomes more challenging. Several factors distinguish the handling of the pandemic in the state such as –
- Setting up of ‘Team 11’ – Team 11(which is a cluster of 11 committees) at the state level that comprises top officials and report on a daily basis to the chief minister on the corona situation. The daily review meeting has kept the state machinery on its toes.
- Ministers in charge of Health and Medical Education are also present at these meetings.
- This committee tasked with managing different aspects like –
- ICCC set up in every district– Integrated COVID Command and Control Centre (ICCC), This is the nerve centre of pandemic management in the district which helps in-
- Sending testing teams to different areas as per plan.
- Ensuring surveillance and contact tracing.
- Sending positive patients to different Covid hospitals or placing them under home isolation.
- Integrated data management portal– UP government launched an integrated Covid-19 portal (upcovid19tracks.in), set up a digital mechanism that can help the state government combat the pandemic while controlling community transmission of the virus.
- It provides us with the ability to crunch and analyse data on a daily basis.
- Also cajole the districts lagging behind to improve their performance.
- Provide test results to citizens.
- Informs citizens about the nearest COVID-19 test centres where they can get themselves tested free of cost.
- Widespread use of the drug, Ivermectin – The Uttar Pradesh government has issued a government order for not only use of Ivermectin drug to treat COVID-19 patients but also as prevention too.
- The state government provides free medicines to all patients.
- The combination of ivermectin and doxycyclin to successfully treat over three lakh home-isolated patients with mild symptoms so far.
- Target testing- The strategy of testing of selected groups helped assess the level of infection in the general population and identify and isolate super-spreaders.
- For example- Before festive season, the administration tested mehndi artists, sweet shop workers, jewelers, those working at places of worship, roadside cracker vendors and were able to isolate more than 12,500 infected persons.
Heavy testing, strategic containment, new innovative ideas and management ideas and Government relied measures helped Uttar Pradesh to keep the positivity rate below 5 per cent throughout the pandemic.
- Continuous monitoring of patients in home quarantine has been an extremely helpful step.
- A combination of government policies and technology-based solutions has been put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of people along with the smooth functioning of the state.