Kohima, November 14 (NEx): The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, Nagaland in it’s weekly bulletin informed that as per the state’s situational level, the following interventions will need to be reinforced strictly before things go out of hand:
Strict implementation of the 3Ws, Strict avoidance of the 3Cs and event organizers to ensure all safety measures on Weddings, Social Gatherings, etc.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has on November 04, 2020, reclassified the levels of transmission of COVID-19 with recommended interventions which have worked for each situational level.
Strict implementation of the 3Ws;
The health department emphasizes on the strict implementation of the 3Ws which are – Wearing Mask, Watch Distance (6 feet) & Washing hands.
Strict avoidance of the 3Cs:
The three Cs to avoid are- Crowded Places, Closed spaces and Close Contact Settings.
No individual or organisation should plan events which will attract a crowd and where social distancing is compromised including sporting events. Sporting events should not encourage spectators, as is done all over the world. Organizers of any event should first ensure that safety is not compromised at any level. Crowding is a serious threat to safety – both indoors and outdoors.
There is enough evidence that closed spaces with compromised natural ventilation are high risk settings. Crowding indoors should be strictly avoided and unavoidable gatherings should be held in an open space as far as possible. Workplaces and offices, restaurants, churches, etc should strictly follow all safety measures including ventilation.
*Close Contact Settings:
Meetings, events, gatherings where 6 feet distancing is compromised is a threat. Meetings over digital platforms is strongly encouraged rather than physical meetings. Work from home should be encouraged.
The state data of high household contacts (31% of all traced contacts) clearly points toward “living room spread” and is a reason why COVID-19 cases are increasing. The health department stated that we should now pay attention to the peril of small gatherings among family and friends who may appear healthy especially with the festive season around the corner.
The Dept. also said that community engagement and cooperation is the most crucial factor in determining the success of any public health measure.
Weddings, Social Gatherings and the Pandemic:
Citing a study published on the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, CDC, USA which linked a wedding reception with 55 guests to 177 COVID-19 cases including 7 hospitalizations and 7 deaths, the health department stated that the danger of community spread linked to such super spreader events have been seen across the globe and pose a similar threat in the state.
None of the hospitalized nor the death had attended the event but were only secondary contacts to the guests. The danger of undetected transmission which will surface weeks later with cases and deaths after such events need to be taken into account, the dept. said in its bulletin.
While some events like weddings are unavoidable, the Dept advised the organizers to ensure that all safety measures are enforced. The lesser the guests, the safer is the event, the bulletin stated.
“As responsible citizens, guests should be strictly limited as per the SOP of the state. You are responsible for the safety of the guests and their loved ones attending your event”- unquote.