|Surveillance at Checkposts|
|Screening at Gokarna|
|Cluster Containment Program at Gokarna|
|Cluster Containment Program at Gokarna|
Karwar: It is probably one of the few districts that have taken a strong proactive measures to control COVID-19. Since the day the COVID-19 was detected in Karnataka, the Uttara Kannada district administration has taken various initiatives to ensure that the virus does not enter the district. To date no positive case has been reported in the district.
The district with 12 Taluks shares border with Goa and five districts of Karnataka. About 75 percent of the district is covered with forest.
But as the district has various tourist and spiritual destination, people from outside the state and outside country come in large numbers. Thus district administration faced a big challenge of creating awareness and also gathering information about the foreign citizens and those who return from abroad.
Like other districts, the district administration started with the screening of those who arrive at the Harbor and Navy Port. Steps were also taken to collect information of those who come to Uttara Kannada district from Mangaluru International Airport and Goa Airport.
Cluster Containment Program:
The Cluster Containment Program at Doeguling Tibetan Settlement and Gokarna on March 6 was the first major initiative by the Uttara Kannada district.
The Doeguling settlement in Mundgod has a good number of Tibetans. They are visited regularly by foreign nationals.
The beaches in Gokarna attract hundreds of foreigners. Many of the foreigners from Europian, Asian and American countries who come to Goa make it a point to travel down to Gokarna.
Thus the Uttara Kannada district administration conducted the Cluster Containment Program in two clusters- Gokarna and Tibetan Settlement where there are possibilities of people coming to contact with the primary source (COVID affected person).
From morning to evening 36 teams were involved at Gokarna and 16 teams at Tibetan settlement where they visited every house, shops, and even beaches.
The teams met the people and educated the people about the symptoms of COVID-19 and also evaluated the people there. If there were any symptomatic cases, they also conducted the necessary checkup. No cases were found during the Cluster Containment Program.
Uttara Kannada was one of the first districts to set up a well-organized help desk throughout the district to educate citizens, collect self-declaration forms and to have thermal scanning of suspected commutes.
The help desk was set up at the four important railway stations- Bhatkal, Murudeshwar, Gokarna and Karwar and also at the bus stand in all the 12 Taluk centers.
As the number of tourists is more at Murudeshwara and Gokarna, help desks were set up in those places too.
Steps were taken to collect details of all foreign nationals staying in the district through schools. The details of all patients who visited the government as well as private medical practitioners are also being collected on a daily basis by health department officials.
Surveillance at Checkposts:
If checkposts are active only during elections, Uttara Kannada district administration has strengthened them to control the unnecessary movement of outsiders into the district.
Uttara Kannada is known for its tourist destinations including Gokarna, Karwar, and Murudeshwar beaches which attract good number of tourists from other parts of the state.
But at a time when the number of COVID-19 is increasing, the district administration has decided to control the movement of outsiders.
The regular check-posts managed of Police, Exercise, and Forest departments have been strengthened.
Any vehicle that enters the district is checked at the border. Also, they will undergo checking at other checkpoints.
“Our officials wold collect details like the purpose of travel, details of their residence, travel history of all the passengers and also their health status. We request people to give these information. Based on the inputs we will take the future course of action,” Deputy Commissioner Dr K Harish Kumar said.
The public, as well as the elected representatives, are happy with the district administration for various preventive measures.