Government of India has extended the national level lockdown tlll May 3rd to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. This period is being utilized effectively for implementing containment measures in a focused manner.
What is a containment zone?
A containment zone has been defined based on the index case / cluster, which will be the designated epicentre, the listing and mapping of contacts, geographical distribution of cases and contacts around the epicentre and the administrative boundaries within urban cities /town/ rural area.
What is a buffer zone?
A buffer zone is an area around the containment zone, where new cases are most likely to appear. There will not be any perimeter control for the buffer zone. Surveillance activities to be followed in the buffer zone will include review of cases of severe respiratory illness reported since cases began to come out in containment zone epicentre by the District Health Officials to identify any missed case of COVID-19.
What are Red, Orange and Green Zones?
The government has decided to adopt the ‘middle path’ approach during lockdown extension and impose a smart lockdown by categorising areas into red, orange and green zones.
A district or cluster declared as a red zone, will see severe restrictions with zero or no activity allowed. These are districts with doubling rate less than 4 days (calculated every Monday for last 7 days, to be determined by the state government).
Orange zone may see opening of limited public transport and also allow exemptions for essential services personnel and farming and harvest activity for the on-going season. As per the guidelines shared by the Health Ministry a Red Zone can be declared as an Orange Zone if no fresh cases have been reported from the area for 14 days.
This zone will see maximum easing of lockdown restrictions. According to the guidelines, areas under green zone will see opening of MSME industries with in-house lodging facilities for employees with proper maintenance of social distance.
What is Bhilwara Model?
According to details shared by the state government and the Rohit Kumar Singh, Rajasthan’s additional chief secretary in charge of the medical, health and family welfare department; the simple way to describe the Bhilwara Model is ‘Ruthless Containment’. The Bhilwara Model of Containment is centred around these key steps:
Step 1: Isolation of the District
The administration decided to isolate the district by imposing a strict curfew under Section 144 of CrPC. In addition to this, the administration also sealed the district borders immediately, with check-posts set up at all entry/exit points.
Step 2: Mapping of the COVID-19 Hotspots
Once the district was completely isolated with no movement of people, the probability of the spread of the disease during this phase came down drastically.
The state administration decided to identify and map COVID-19 hotspots within the district that had registered the highest number of cases. These areas hotspots were identified and strict vigil as kept on them to ensure zero movement of people.
Step 3: Door to Door Screening
Another important part of the Bhilwara model was ‘Door to Door Screening’ of people to identify the suspects who might be potential carriers of the novel coronavirus.
(With Agency Inputs)