Govt draws aggressive containment strategy to check spread of Covid-19
The government has drawn out a containment plan as clusters posing high risk of further spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19 have emerged in several states.
The cluster containment strategy is meant to contain the disease within a defined geographical area by early detection of cases, breaking the chain of transmission and thus preventing its spread to new areas.
“Clusters have appeared in multiple states, particularly Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana and UT of Ladakh. 211 districts are now reporting Covid-19 cases and the risk of further spread remains very high,” the Union health ministry has said in a 20-page strategy document.
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The aggressive containment strategy will be scaled down, said the government document, only if no new cases of Covid-19 are reported for at least four weeks after the last confirmed test.
“Intensive risk communication campaign will be followed to encourage all persons to stay indoors for an initial period of 28 days, to be extended based on the risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment and indication of successful containment operations, an approach of staggered work and market hours may be put into practice,” the document said.
The cluster containment strategy 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 public on preventive public health measures”, the document stated.
“The objective of this plan is to stop the chain of transmission thus reducing the morbidity and mortality due to Covid-19,” it said.
For large outbreaks amenable to containment, the documents stated that the strategy will remain the same but vary in extent depending upon spread and response to be mounted to contain it.
Geographic quarantine and containment strategy will include defining the area of operation, active surveillance for cases and contacts in the identified geographic zone, expanding laboratory capacity for testing all suspect cases, high risk contacts and SARI cases and operationalising surge capacities created for isolation (Covid-19 hospitals/blocks) to hospitalise and manage all suspect or confirmed cases.