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 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 99-101

Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic containment: Actions needing utmost priority during the period of lockdown


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission04-Oct-2020
Date of Decision24-Oct-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Oct-2020
Date of Web Publication25-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) - Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/mjhs.mjhs_4_20

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  Abstract 


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has produced a massive impact on the global health sector and the economy of the nation and accounted for the loss of quality of life of millions of people across the world. The way China and South Korea have succeeded in flattening the curve of the disease, we hope that the same would be replicated even in other nations. However, the situation went so much out of hand that the national leaders had to implement very strong measures, including imposing a strict lockdown. Moreover, it is vital to understand that such kind of social restrictions will not result in the containment of the infection forever. In reality, these are just strategies to delay the spread of the infection. In conclusion, the social restriction has given a second opportunity for the public health authorities to implement targeted measures to promote early detection, wide testing, isolation, treatment, and contact tracing within their nations. This will be the best approach to reduce the caseload and interrupt the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, preparedness, social restriction, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic containment: Actions needing utmost priority during the period of lockdown. MRIMS J Health Sci 2020;8:99-101

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic containment: Actions needing utmost priority during the period of lockdown. MRIMS J Health Sci [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 20];8:99-101. Available from: http://www.mrimsjournal.com/text.asp?2020/8/4/99/304934




  Introduction Top


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has produced a massive impact on the global health sector and the economy of the nation and accounted for the loss of quality of life of millions of people across the world.[1] The available estimates suggest that since the start of the outbreak, more than 32.7 million cases and 991,000 deaths have been reported.[2] At the start of the outbreak, the epicenter was in China, but now it has shifted to the American and the South East Asian regions.[2] The global case-fatality rate of the disease has increased to 3%, while the disease has been reported across 216 nations and territories around the world.[2] It is a fact that any nation in which disease has shown a rapid upsurge in the caseload, the healthcare facilities have been overwhelmed. It becomes our responsibility to improve our preparedness and be ready to effectively respond to the sudden emergence of COVID-19 cases.[1],[2]


  Lessons Learned from Other Nations Top


The way China and New Zealand have succeeded in flattening the curve of the disease, we hope that the same would be replicated even in other nations, but the issue of utmost concern is that what kind of price we have to pay for the containment of the disease.[3] It will not be wrong to say that most of the affected nation, including the developed nations which have the best healthcare services in the world, failed to reduce the caseload in their settings. This was primarily because of the lack of preparedness, absence of an effective response plan and not giving much importance to how the situation unfolded in China. In fact, the situation went so much out of hand that the national leaders had to implement very strong measures such as closure of educational institutions, business, cancellation of sporting events or social gatherings, and finally imposing a strict lockdown.[3]


  Lockdown and Coronavirus Disease 2019 Top


This strategy of lockdown definitely had an epidemiological background that it minimized the possibility of risk of transmission of disease through reducing the opportunities of contact between different groups of people.[3],[4] However, from a policymaker's perspective, this was imposed by the government under the compulsion that they were not knowing how to respond to the sudden upsurge in the cases and needed time to reorganize their healthcare services and response plan. However, it is vital to understand that such kind of social restrictions will not result in the containment of the infection forever. In reality, these are just strategies to delay the spread of the infection.[3] These imposed restrictions should be considered by the health authorities as a second opportunity for the public health authorities to rectify those mistakes that were done when the outbreak was initially centered in China and we were not proactive to respond.[3],[5]


  Areas to be Strengthened Top


It is an appeal for all the nations who have imposed lockdown (viz., India, New Zealand, and United Kingdom) to utilize the period of social restriction toward expansion, training, and deployment of the public health workforce in the healthcare facilities to provide better quality of healthcare.[3] This should be followed by the establishment of a mechanism by which all the suspected cases in the community are identified via an active search of cases.[4] As it is expected that the number of potential cases in the community will be very high, it should simultaneously be supported with improved capacity and capability for laboratory testing.[5] After the detection of these cases, the next step will be to treat and isolate these patients, and as it is presumed that the health facilities are already overwhelmed, the public health authorities should identify and equip the new locations with all the necessary facilities to provide care to the patients.[3],[5]

The next area of focus during this period of social restriction is to formulate an action plan to ensure that all the contacts of the confirmed cases have to be quarantined for the recommended duration.[6] Finally, the last and the most important thing will be that the government should acknowledge and accept that COVID-19 is a public health emergency, and for its successful containment, there is a definite need to prioritize the issue and work in a concerted manner for a sustained period of time.[7] These interventions are the best chance we have got to interrupt the chain of transmission and increase the likelihood that once these restrictions are lifted, we do not observe a simultaneous rise in the incidence of cases.[1],[3] If we fail on our part again, the entire cycle has to be repeated again, but that will obviously account for loss of lives of thousands of people and exhaustion of the available resources.


  Conclusion Top


The social restriction has given a second opportunity for the public health authorities to implement targeted measures to promote early detection, wide testing, isolation, treatment, and contact tracing within their nations. This will be the best approach to reduce the caseload and interrupt the chain of transmission of COVID-19.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Ward MP, Li X, Tian K. Novel coronavirus 2019, an emerging public health emergency. Transbound Emerg Dis 2020;67:469-70.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Global Epidemiological Situation; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200928-weekly-epi-update.pdf?sfvrsn=9e354665_6. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 04].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19 - 25 March 2020; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19---25-march-2020. [Last accessed on 2020 Oct 04].  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Ebrahim SH, Ahmed QA, Gozzer E, Schlagenhauf P, Memish ZA. Covid-19 and community mitigation strategies in a pandemic. BMJ 2020;368:m1066.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Kwon KT, Ko JH, Shin H, Sung M, Kim JY. Drive-through screening center for COVID-19: A safe and efficient screening system against massive community outbreak. J Korean Med Sci 2020;35:e123.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Murdoch D, Addidle M, Andersson HS, Arnold B, Balm M, Benschop J, et al. Politicians: Please work together to minimise the spread of COVID-19. N Z Med J 2020;133:7-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
    




 

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Abstract
Introduction
Lessons Learned ...
Lockdown and Cor...
Areas to be Stre...
Conclusion
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