With the number of coronavirus cases rapidly increasing the government on 4th April rolled out a new strategy to tackle the pandemic which has claimed 83 lives as per the official website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as on the 5th of April, 2020. The new strategy, the government says would be removed only four weeks after no new case of the virus is reported. The strategy is designed to tackle the spread of the virus which seems to mimic the spread of the H1N1 pandemic influenza. Cities with higher population and better transport connectivity seem to have a higher number of cases as compared to the rural areas with fewer populations and lesser transport connectivity.
The strategy calls for creating containment zones in areas where the cases are clustered. This system known as geographic quarantine, aims to slow the spread of the virus. Within this zone, the government will surveil the cases in the area and restrict the movement of vehicles only to essential services such as food supply and medical services. As a precaution, a few blocks adjacent to the district under containment would have the following restrictions. This area is called the buffer zone.
The MoHFW lays down criteria for persons to be tested for the disease. Persons who show symptoms after undertaking international travel, health care workers, persons who came in contact with lab confirmed cases, patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Infection and people who do not show symptoms but were in “direct and high-rise contact” with a patient.
The document also lays down criteria for discharge of patients. Patients testing posting will only be discharged once two consecutive sample tests and the patient is free of symptoms.
The Group of Ministers(GoM) headed by the Union Health Minister would be taking policy decisions at the national level. The Group would consist of ministries of civil aviation, external affairs, shipping, pharmaceutical and home ministry. To assist and provide directions in implementing necessary strategies, the Cabinet Secretary or the National Crisis Management Committee will direct ministries to implement its directions.
At the state level, the responsibility is given to the State Disaster Management Authority to monitor the activities and implement any orders issued by the central or the State government.
With this strategy the government aims to ensure the spread of the virus is restricted to a few areas where the virus is clustered, ultimately to put an end to the pandemic. The success of the same however depends not only on the efficiency of the governmental institutes but also on the support of the people.
Tags : COVID 19, MoHFW