Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar expressed confidence that COVID-19 cases were reduced in the last 10 days and reiterated that the curve was flattening. The Chief Secretary also said that a door-to-door survey was going on in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits as well as several districts, where a high number of Covid-19 cases have been reported.
In the GHMC area itself, health workers have identified nearly 1,500 people with fever and Covid symptoms for checkups and tests.
Andhra Pradesh has also done door-to-door surveys in the past few days to identify over 32,000 individuals with influenza-like symptoms as well as people with travel history.
Several states across India including Assam, Goa, Jharkhand, Bihar and recently Maharashtra also have followed suit--conducting door-to-door surveys. India’s testing protocol is mainly guided by the Indian Council of Medical Research, which is overseeing the country’s response to the pandemic.
Though the survey was restricted to hospitalised individuals with advanced pneumonia-like symptoms and close contacts of laboratory-confirmed patients, the council recommends the testing of people with influenza-like illness only in disease hotspots and containment zones.
Each state is following a testing protocol, where the tests are done on the basis of travel history and symptoms, identify people with unreported fever-like symptoms and pneumonia (severe acute respiratory illness, influenza-like symptoms and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections) for Covid-19, symptomatic patients were defined as fever, cough, cold and breathing difficulties.
To question the efficacy of this process at this stage is a matter of huge debate. Many consider this as a fool-proof process, but again how far can we believe in the statistics and numbers generated through the door-door survey.
Some feel that it's just a mere 'on the paper' figure done like a job by the volunteers.
There are some people who hide their symptoms and even if the symptoms are reported, not all of them go and get tested.
A virologist said that while conducting the survey one should look for symptoms of COVD-19 and not influenza, which are two separate conditions and should not be looked at as the same.
The other factor is the cost involved in conducting these door-to door-campaigns, which is another burden on the limited state treasury.