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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 334-335

Corona virus disease 2019 outbreak: Urgent need for nations to strictly adhere to the designed protocols to mount an effective response


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

Date of Submission23-Feb-2020
Date of Decision28-Feb-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Mar-2020
Date of Web Publication21-Dec-2020

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


DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_50_20

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Corona virus disease 2019 outbreak: Urgent need for nations to strictly adhere to the designed protocols to mount an effective response. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2020;15:334-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Corona virus disease 2019 outbreak: Urgent need for nations to strictly adhere to the designed protocols to mount an effective response. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jan 19];15:334-5. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2020/15/2/334/304264



Dear Editor,

The Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak is steadily increasing its global distribution and the disease which initially started in only one city of China has now spread to 28 different nations, the most recent being Lebanon and Israel.[1] In fact, these two nations have reported cases on February 22, 2020, and the cumulative total of the number of cases has increased to 77,794 and the attributed deaths to 2361.[1] The analysis of the situation reports of the disease suggests that on February 22, 2020, China reported 397 new cases, while the rest of the world accounted for 202. This is a clear indication that gradually, but definitely, the proportion of cases reported outside the country of origin is on the rise, and we are still short in terms of our preparedness level and response strategy.[2]

The ground reality pertaining to the current outbreak is that the causative coronavirus is novel and thus, many insights about the modes of transmission, severity of the disease, clinical manifestations, potential predisposing factors, virological attributes, etc., are not known regardless of the settings (community or health-care establishments).[1],[2] These facts create enough background for the need of the studies which aim to assess the epidemiology and clinical spectrum of cases in heterogeneous settings, as the obtained evidence is bound to impact our knowledge about the disease and the way we can plan for tackling it in future.[3] In-fact, based on past experiences with the other coronaviruses outbreaks, the World Health Organization has formulated different protocols to systematical approach to the existing lacuna about the infection.[1],[3]

The first of the protocols deals with the identification and contact tracing of the potential contacts on the detection of the first case of the disease in a nation and can be utilized among the general population as well as in health-care institutions or schools or in domestic settings.[3] Owing to the resource constraints, high caseload and limited capacity of the hospital to offer healthcare for all suspect and probable patients, household care has been envisaged, provided it is offered under the guidance of health-care personnel.[4] However, this significantly enhances the chances of the disease transmission from the suspect to the other household contacts, and thus to understand the dynamics of disease transmission among household contacts, a specific protocol has been developed.[4]

From the health-care personnel perspective, who are in the forefront and in close contact with the confirmed cases, a protocol has been designed to assess the risk factors which can predispose a health worker to the acquisition of the infection.[1] This is quite a challenging domain as a lot is still unknown about the virus and any insights about the potential risk factors will not only reduce the incidence of the disease among health workers but will also aid in the revision of existing protocol for infection prevention and control.[1],[3] Further, to have a systematic and common reporting format to aid the policymakers and welfare agencies, a standard case record form has been designed for the collection of the required information from all hospitalized patients.[3]

Amidst multiple uncertainties, the role of environmental contamination in the process of disease transmission is not known, and thus, we need to have precise estimates about the viability of the virus in fomites where a patient is receiving treatment. In order to have a better understanding about the same, a protocol has been developed that lays down impetus on the need for surface sampling as an integral component of the outbreak investigation. In fact, the results obtained from environmental studies can be assessed in corroboration with the laboratory results, and we will be in a better position to benefit both patients as well as health-care professionals.[3] The best part of all these protocols is that it not only helps in the prompt collection of data but also aids in the sharing of the same with the health authorities.[3]

In conclusion, in the mission to effectively contain the COVID-19 outbreak, the first and foremost thing is to have precise guidelines for case definitions, surveillance, clinical spectrum and epidemiological attributes. Acknowledging the same, the need of the hour is that all the affected nations should adhere to the standard protocols and help the health authorities in generating adequate evidence to have a better action plan to respond to the outbreak of the disease.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 33; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200222-sitrep-33-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=c9585c8f_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
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. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. Technical Focus: COVID-19 Early Epidemiologic and Clinical Investigations for Public Health Response. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Home Care for Patients with Suspected Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) Infection Presenting with Mild Symptoms and Management of Contacts – Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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