Kerala tweaks containment plan, uses reverse quarantine to fight Covid-19
Under reverse quarantine, people having underlying medical conditions, especially those above 65 years and persons who are immune-compromised will be segregated from other family members
The Kerala government, amid a spike in coronavirus cases in the state, has announced a targeted containment strategy and asked grassroots health workers to collect details of elderly people and those suffering from comorbidities to implement reverse quarantine.
Under reverse quarantine, people having underlying medical conditions, especially those above 65 years and persons who are immune-compromised will be segregated from other family members. This will be implemented through family members and local bodies which are tasked with providing medicine, food, counselling and other assistance to those who are set to undergo this exercise for their safety.
The government has revised the containment zone protocol for targeted implementation of anti-pandemic measures.
Out of 20 deaths in the state due to coronavirus, 15 were those of above age 65 and suffering from many other health complications. The health department is planning to detach vulnerable people from the rest and monitor their health indicators to reduce the mortality rate.
“We are planning a limited lockdown in a distributed manner based on the community pandemic level. In this case, we can target the affected areas specifically and take containment provisions accordingly. We will notify new containment zones every day,” said state health minister K K Shailaja on Friday, adding the district collectors can decide the extension of lockdown after the mandatory seven-day period.
The minister also said from now on home quarantine will be room quarantine and officials will ensure this before a particular patient undergoes it.
“We have reports that many in home quarantine are interacting with their family members as usual. This is one of the reasons for secondary infections,” she said, adding the health department will encourage reverse quarantine in a big way.
After test rates went up (over 1,02000 now) cases have also increased in the state, the minister added.
The government has also roped in private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients and the details will soon be worked out. So far, only government hospitals were dealing with coronavirus patients in the state. It has also decided to continue full lockdown on all Sundays till the situation improves.
Using reverse quarantine, it hopes to keep a check on the community spread of the disease.