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Respiratory cases panel

The committee of teachers of community medicine from medical colleges will draw up a report and submit it to the health department every day by 6pm

By Kinsuk Basu in Calcutta
  • Published 10.05.20, 3:48 AM
  • Updated 10.05.20, 3:48 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Medics applaud for Covid-19 patients who are being discharged after getting recovered at a private hospital, during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, in Calcutta, Saturday, May 09, 2020. (PTI)

The health department has set up a 12-member committee of teachers of community medicine from medical colleges to find out whether proper steps are being taken to manage cases of influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory illness (SARI).

The committee will draw up a report and submit it to the health department every day by 6pm.

The state government has identified over 91,000 cases of influenza-like illness and over 800 with severe acute respiratory illness following door-to door surveillance over the past month.

“The surveillance gives us early warning signals and is an important proactive step in fighting Covid-19,” chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said in a recent Facebook post.

Senior officials in the health department said that apart from Calcutta, the team will also focus on North and South 24-Parganas and Hooghly to assess the preparedness in tackling these cases.

“The team will find out the number of ILI and SARI cases identified and samples sent for tests,” said a health department official. "The experts will analyse weekly reports and identify ILI and SARI clusters.”

The World Health Organisation has defined ILI as fever above 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit) and cough, which had started within the past 10 days. SARI has similar symptoms but a person with the disease needs hospitalisation because of the distress.

Health department officials said once the committee identified ILI and SARI clusters, the government would immediately arrange for complete lockdown of the regions and bring more people within the ambit of tests.

“All hospitals have been told to inform the department about any ILI or SARI patient admitted,” the health department official said.