India in Containment Phase
- 07 Apr 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, India has now stepped out of the local transmission phase and moved into the “large outbreaks amenable to containment phase”.
- The Ministry has brought out a 'containment document' for large outbreaks to stop the chain of transmission and reduce morbidity and deaths.
- India would be following a strategic approach for possible scenarios - travel-related cases reported in India, local transmission of Covid-19, large outbreaks amenable to containment, widespread community transmission of Covid-19 disease and India becoming endemic for Covid-19.
- According to the document, a large outbreak can be defined as a localised increase in the incidence of coronavirus cases occurring within a defined geographic area.
- This can happen within a village, town or even a big city.
- The document states containment for large outbreaks calls for near absolute interruption of movement of people to and from a relatively large defined area where there is single large outbreak or multiple foci of local transmission of Covid-19.
- The cluster containment strategy is a part of the document. It would "include geographic quarantine, social distancing measures, enhanced active surveillance, testing all suspected cases, isolation of cases, quarantine of contacts and risk communication to create awareness among the public on preventive public health measures".
- Geographic quarantine shall be applicable to such areas reporting large outbreaks and/or multiple clusters of Covid-19 spread over multiple blocks of one or more districts that are contiguous.
- The containment operation shall be deemed to be over 28 days from the discharge of the last confirmed case (following negative tests as per discharge policy) from the designated health facility.
- Factors that will determine the success of containment strategy
- A number of variables determine the success of the containment operations through geographic quarantine which include the number and size of the cluster or clusters and also how efficiently the virus is transmitting in Indian population, taking into account environmental factors especially temperature and humidity.
- The factors also include public health response in terms of active case finding, testing of large numbers of cases, immediate isolation of suspect and confirmed cases and quarantine of contacts along with the geographical characteristics of the area.