The Union government has maintained that there has been no case of community transfer in the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) in India until now, though several people are voicing otherwise. Fear cannot be eradicated but definitely could be minimised.
Community transmission of the virus is being considered as stage 3, which is going to increase the need for essential resources like masks and sanitizers, already dwindling in quantity due to unawareness. The ones who genuinely require it are lagging behind due to its unavailability.
A set of actions that persons and communities can take to help slow the spread of respiratory virus infections within the community is community mitigation. This is crucial until a vaccine or drug becomes widely available for its prevention.
Each community is unique, and appropriate mitigation strategies will vary based on the level of community transmission, characteristics of the community and their population, along with the local capacity to implement the necessary strategies.
- Let’s ponder upon all aspects of a community that might be impacted, including the population most vulnerable to severe illness. They definitely must be tried & restricted indoors.
- Those who would be affected socially or economically, appropriate actions need to be taken.
- Essentials must be purchased and stored in appropriate quantities, especially medical supplies, for those groups who are at high risk of severe illness during mitigating efforts.
- In case of both the above situations, they should be within the premises of their complex or residence.
- Certain designated personnel should be assigned in case of a gathering of more than an appropriate number, for dispersal.
- In every residential area, where people reside in bungalows, a community centre could be created which would be stacked with necessary resources for emergency situations.
- For any reason if you have to step out, always remember to disinfect your belongings along with yourself the moment you step back in.
- Though expectation would always be that every individual or residence of a society act responsible and follow social distancing diligently.
- Mitigation strategies can be scaled up or down depending on the evolving local situation.
- Activation of community emergency plans is critical for the implementation of mitigation strategies. These plans may provide additional authorities and coordination needed for interventions to be implemented successfully.
Therefore, the level of activities implemented may vary, depending on the age group of the population along with their level of immunity against different diseases or exposure to the virus and most essentially, their determination to follow basic protocols to combat the effect and spread of the virus.
However continuous efforts are being applied to formulate the pertinent vaccine for the virus. Meanwhile, public health personnel are required to be on their toes and the citizens responsibility must in turn support them, as community mitigation strategies though in place, cannot portray complete effectiveness. We need to display patience and manage the situation accordingly.