23 October, 2020

Opinion | An Unknown Enemy: Coronavirus Is Challenging India's Public Health Service

It is important to consider developing rapid point-of-care test to enable rapid diagnosis at the hospital level, writes Dr G. Arunkumar of Manipal Institute of Virology

Opinion | An Unknown Enemy: Coronavirus Is Challenging India's Public Health Service
outlookindia.com
2020-03-06T12:30:58+05:30

From the point of its origin in Wuhan in December, coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the world, engulfing new areas. Extreme containment measures brought the number of patients down in China, but the spread of the virus has become a matter of concern for governments and health workers. India too has added several cases to the first three in Kerala. We expect to see a surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming days.

While India is still in the containment stage, it is time to revise the surveillance strategy to include sentinel tertiary care hospital-based testing for COVID-19 among pneumonia cases without a definitive diagnosis to check for possible community transmission. Further, the existing influenza virus surveillance system can also be used. Thereby, public health system will be able to identify the places where early community transmission is happening and subsequently contain it.

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