Samples of her family members were collected and sent for testing as well. (Representational Image)
On March 10, a 38-year-old woman returned to the national capital from Saudi Arabia. A resident of East Delhi’s Dilshad Garden, she developed fever soon after, followed by a cough and breathlessness. This prompted her to head to a private clinic in Seemapuri, where she was examined by a 49-year-old doctor, who also sits at a mohalla clinic in nearby Maujpur.
On March 18, the woman tested positive for coronavirus — case number 10 in Delhi’s records.
She was admitted to Safdarjung Hospital for further treatment, and health officials in the city began tracing her contacts. By March 19, roughly 100 contacts had been traced, and a surveillance programme started in her residential colony. Calls were made, personal visits planned and officials began to ask people about the symptoms. Spreading awareness about cough etiquette and hand hygiene was part of the process.
Samples of her family members were collected and sent for testing as well.
On March 20, two of her contacts — her 35-year-old brother and 65-year-old mother — tested positive for COVID-19. Both live in Northeast Delhi’s Jahangirpuri. The team then began contact tracing for both. By this date, Delhi had 20 confirmed cases of the virus.
The next day, the woman’s two daughters, aged 26 and 28, both residents of Dilshad Garden, tested positive. Her 19-year-old son’s test results are awaited.
And on Sunday, the health department received more alarming news: the doctor who had examined her initially had tested positive for the disease. By this time, the number of cases in Delhi had reached 30. The doctor was case number 28.
“After the woman tested positive on March 18, the doctor went into self-isolation. But he soon started to develop symptoms. He was admitted to GTB Hospital, but on Monday, he was shifted to Safdarjung Hospital after he complained of breathlessness,” said a senior official from the department of health.
Each mohalla clinic on an average witnesses 160-200 patients per day. The health centre has a doctor and three other multi-task workers.
On Wednesday, the doctor’s 48-year-old wife and his 17-year-old daughter were among five people who tested positive in Delhi, taking the total number of cases to 35.
A 35-year-old man from Jahangirpuri who tested positive on Wednesday has also been traced back to the woman, officials said.
“Between March 12 and 18, the doctor saw around 1,000 patients in that particular mohalla clinic. We are tracing each and every person who has visited it in that period. At the woman’s colony, around 470 houses have been put under surveillance and around 1,200 people have been contacted by the department. We are checking with people about the symptoms. The team will also monitor people in Jahangirpuri since one more case, who was in contact with the confirmed case, has tested positive,” said the official.
The two others who tested positive on Wednesday are a 41-year old man with a travel history to Brazil and a 24-year-old woman with a travel history to London. Both are residents of Sainik Farms.
ANJU an English teacher and District Mentor for English in the Parho Punjab Project (Jalandhar district), said that teachers have formed WhatsApp groups with the senior students and with the parents of the junior classes.
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