The Union Health Ministry on Saturday has drawn out a containment plan for large outbreaks of COVID-19 after the deadly disease had already infected over 3000 people in the country.
As per the 20 page document released by the Health Ministry, large outbreaks of COVID-19 can be contained through geographic quarantine and cluster containment strategy.
“Geographic quarantine (cordon sanitaire) strategy calls for near absolute interruption of movement of people to and from a relatively large defined geographic area where there is single large outbreak or multiple focus of local transmission of COVID-19,” the document stated.
“The Cluster Containment Strategy would be to contain the disease within a defined geographic area by early detection of cases, breaking the chain of transmission and thus preventing its spread to new areas,” it added.
According to the document, 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.
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 operationalizing surge capacities created for isolation (COVID-19 hospitals/blocks) to hospitalize and manage all suspect or confirmed cases.
The document states that 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, it added.