Informal settlements marked ‘vulnerable’ zones
Govt. issues guidelines to tackle challenges
- Informal settlements within cities have been identified by the Union Health Ministry as among the vulnerable urban settlements for the spread of the COVID-19.
- Stating that a substantial percentage of the population here are migrant workers employed in industrial and other informal sectors.
- These areas are characterised by poor structural quality of housing, inadequate access to safe water, poor sanitation and insecure residential status.
- There are gaps in health and healthcare services.
- It said in these areas local bodies should cover the management of COVID-19 and focus on challenges unique to such populations.
- An incident-response system should be put in place depending upon the geographic extent of the settlements and its population size.
- It said enough quantity of hydroxychloroquine will be stocked in civil dispensaries, health posts, health & family welfare centres for chemo-prophylaxis of healthcare workers and high risk contacts of confirmed cases of the COVID-19.
- It has directed for a contingency plan to be put in place to move the high-risk population to alternate or temporary sites.
- The latest advisory also advocates for passive surveillance stating that in addition to the government health facilities serving these population, surveillance network linkages need to be established with private medical practitioners working in such localities.