If your area has been declared a containment zone, all residents are essentially under home quarantine until further notice from the officials.

What does it mean if your residential area is declared containment zoneRepresentative image
Health Coronavirus Monday, March 30, 2020 - 15:47

On March 23, a 52-year-old man from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur, who had returned from Ajmer in Rajasthan, tested positive for coronavirus. The local body immediately swung into action, identified seven colonies in and around the man’s house in Guntur and declared it the ‘red zone’, or more commonly called the ‘containment zone’.

Nine zones in Chennai were declared as containment zones on Sunday.

This got many wondering what is a containment zone and what would happen if their residential area comes under this zone. Here is an explainer.

What is a containment zone

If a person is confirmed positive for coronavirus (called an index case), the patient’s location or area of residence will be the designated epicenter.

The state government officials will then identify a perimeter or a geographic area around the patient’s location, within which the officials have to contain the disease by early detection of other potential cases, break the chain of transmission and thus prevent its spread to new areas.

This perimeter forms the containment zone. The officials will also identify a buffer zone, an additional area around the perimeter zone.

What this means to residents in containment zone

If your area has been declared a containment zone, all residents are essentially under home quarantine until further notice.

The field workers will visit your houses, list out the number of family members, and ask a series of questions to check the health status. If a person is showing symptoms of COVID-19, he/she will be a suspect case.

The patient will be isolated in the house until he/she is examined by a supervisory officer (a doctor). Meanwhile, the suspect case and a caregiver identified by the family will be provided with a mask. The doctor will visit the house, and if needed shift the patient to a designated treatment facility.

Meanwhile, the areas within the perimeter zone will be sanitised or disinfected.

Residents will have to stay indoors, unless it is absolutely important. Residents have been asked to make their own arrangements to ensure groceries and essential commodities are dropped in a basket kept outside the house.

Read: Stay indoors, wear mask: Chennai Corporation tells residents in containment zones

In some places like Karimnagar in Telangana, which was identified as a containment zone, officials delivered groceries to the residents.

 
COVID-19: In Telangana's Karimnagar, authorities home deliver groceries

COVID-19: In Telangana's Karimnagar, authorities home deliver groceries

Posted by TheNewsMinute on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The entry and exit - vehicular movement, public transport and personnel movement - from the containment zone will be restricted, except for essential services, including medical emergencies, and government affairs. All roads including rural roads connecting the containment zone will be guarded by police.

The travellers entering the zone will be screened. This means that the health workers posted at the entry point will keep a record of your temperature, address of the destination, duration of stay, among other details.

The person will also be informed about the precautions to be taken and given an information pamphlet and mask. 

All vehicles exiting the perimeter control will be disinfected with sodium hypochlorite (1%) solution.   

How containment zones are identified

There are different scenarios to determine a containment zone and buffer zone. 

  1. A small cluster that includes residential schools, hospitals, hostels. 

  2. A single cluster that consists of a residential colony 

  3. Multiples clusters include residential colony, schools, offices, hospitals, etc

  4. Multiple clusters but spatially separated by administrative boundaries

  5. A cluster in a rural area

While the containment and buffer zone in rural areas are characteristically set at 3 km radius and additional 7 km radius respectively, other clusters are identified based on the epidemiologic investigation, or the risk assessment carried out by the Rapid Response Team (RRT). 

First, the RRTs will list the contacts of the confirmed cases as well as the suspected cases of COVID-19. Using this list, a District Surveillance Officer and RRTs will map the contact to identify health facilities, field workers, ASHA workers and others.

The residential areas in a containment zone are divided into sectors, so that the field workers can each cover 50 households (30 households in difficult areas) per day.