At a time when the state Cocid patients’ tally has reached 21,930 and death toll to 539, the decision of Punjab government to disband Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) and deploy its around 3100 employees elsewhere, is shocking. With the rise of Covid patients, state health department authorities must deploy more officers rather than reducing the number.
The latest decision to disband RRTs will create serious problems in coming days as these teams had been assigned the task to quickly reach at the house of positive patient, isolate him and his family and put a sticker outside of the house of positive patient. Apart from it, these teams have also been directed to trace the contacts of the positive patient at the earliest to prevent the spread of virus and also to regularly conduct medical examination of patient and his family members and other contacts.
But after the disbanding of these teams, there is none to visit the house, paste a sticker and conduct contact tracing. Since there is no sticker at the house of positive patient, it may cause the spread of virus to adjoining houses because when neighbours will have no information about the presence of Covid patient in their neighbourhood, they will definitely face problems.
State government authorities have announced to utilize the services of RRT members to improve testing, but it does not make any sense because government authorities can not reduce the number of employees from RRTs to improve the number of employees in another section. If the health department authorities are short of staff, they must make more recruitment.
During last 24 hours, Ludhiana has lost nine residents, Amritsar three and Covid death toll is also increasing in other districts also. The spread of awareness and contact tracing of positive patients are must to prevent the spread of virus. Punjab health department must rethink over its decision of disbanding RRTs immediately.