Tamil Nadu

T.N. notifies 711 COVID-19 containment zones across 36 districts

Five or more positive cases in a locality to be considered a cluster

The Tamil Nadu government as of May 2 has notified a list of 711 geographical locations across 36 districts as COVID-19 “containment zones” to curb the spread of the pandemic in the State. “If there are five and more [COVID-19] positive cases in a locality then it will be considered as clusters,” a guideline issued by the government said.

According to an annexure contained in a Government Order issued by Chief Secretary K Shanmugam, as of May 2, Chennai had the maximum of 189 containment zones [the number went up to 357 on Tuesday] and Dharmapuri district has just one such zone.

Containment zones were important for identifying pockets which need critical interventions for focused management of COVID-19.

In urban areas, even if there were a single or less than five COVID-19 positive cases, the street should be demarcated as a containment zone, the order said. If the street is very long, a reasonable stretch could to be brought under the containment zone to restrict movement. In rural areas, “the habitation” of the hamlet was to be demarcated as a containment zone.

In urban areas, if the cluster (five or more COVID-19 positive cases) fell within the ward, the ward in which the residences of the positive cases were located should be demarcated as the containment zones. “If the residence happens to be the border of the ward, then the adjoining wards may also be included in the containment zone,” the guideline said.

In rural areas, the whole village or the group of villages where the clustering of cases was reported should be demarcated as containment zone/zones.

As for gated communities/hostels/apartments, “epidemiological factors should be taken into consideration before deciding on the strategies. Housing design, number of people living/working/visiting, floors, transport and other epidemiological factors should be considered,” it pointed out.

The list would be revised on a weekly-basis or earlier. Based on the field feedback and additional analysis at State-level, States may designate additional red or orange zones as appropriate.

“However, States may not relax the zonal classification of districts classified as red/orange as communicated by the Ministry [The Centre],” it stated. If areas have reported no cases for 21 days, they can be considered as one level lower in zonal classification, in case the district is in red/orange zone.

The containment zones in these districts were to be delineated based on mapping of cases and contacts, geographical dispersion of cases and contracts, areas with well-demarcated perimeter and enforceability. Further, a buffer zone around the containment zone has to be demarcated.

The area should be appropriately defined by the district administration/local urban body with technical inputs from the local level. “In the spirit of effective containment, it is advisable to err on the side of caution,” it stated.

Stringent perimeter control, active search for cases through house-to-house surveillance, testing of all cases, contact tracing and clinical management of all confirmed cases were the necessary actions to be taken in these zones. It also elaborated on the strategies for prevention and control and delaying the spread and other containment strategies.

The G.O. with the list of containment zones and guidelines for demarcation of containment zones could be accessed at https://bit.ly/containmentzoneguidelines

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 6:14:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-notifies-711-covid-19-containment-zones-across-36-districts/article31509789.ece

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