Centre issues guidelines to set up health infra in rural areas

The Government of India recently issued guidelines to contain COVID-19 in rural areas.

What are the guidelines?

  • COVID-19 Care Centre for asymptomatic cases should be established in peri urban and rural areas. These centres should have a minimum of thirty beds. This should be set up mainly in areas where home isolation is not possible.
  • The Rapid Antigen Test kits should be made available in all public health facilities. This includes primary health centres and health and wellness centres as well.
  • The COVID Care Centres shall admit suspect or confirmed case. However, it should have separate areas for confirmed and suspected cases.

Besides urban areas, a large number of cases have increased in tribal areas, rural areas and peri urban areas. Thus, the ministry has released “SOP on COVID-19 Containment and Management in Peri-Urban, Rural and Tribal Areas”.

Standard Operating Procedure

  • An active surveillance should be done for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections and Influenza like illness. This should be done periodically by ASHA with the help of Village Health Sanitation and Nutrition Committee.
  • Symptomatic cases shall be treated at village level by tele-consultation with the Community Health Officer (CHO). However, cases with low oxygen saturation should be sent to higher centres.
  • The CHO and the ANMs should be trained to perform Rapid Antigen Tests.
  • Contact tracing should be done according to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme Guidelines.
  • Each village should have adequate number of thermometers and pulse oximeters.
  • The COVID Care Centre shall be set up in marriage halls, schools, panchayat buildings.
  • The COVID Care Centres should be mapped with one or more dedicated COVID Health Care Centres.

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