Maharashtra Has A Cluster Containment Plan. Here’s What It Means  
Migrant workers and their families stand behind a barrier at a police checkpoint during a lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)  

Maharashtra Has A Cluster Containment Plan. Here’s What It Means  

Maharashtra has put in place a cluster containment plan, something that’s expected to become India’s key strategy to check the spread of the new coronavirus.

As many as 2,455 teams, working across 18 districts of the state, have surveyed 9,25,828 people since yesterday, said Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra health minister.

The state has more than 400 confirmed cases, the highest in India where the overall tally has crossed 2,500 with 62 deaths. The authorities have already found at least two cases in Dharavi, one of the biggest slums in the world.

Cluster containment is also likely to be followed across the country. Lav Agarwal, joint secretary (health) in the Union government, said earlier this week that the authorities are identifying emerging hotstops and following a rigorous containment policy.

Also read: Coronavirus India Updates: Total Covid-19 Cases At 2,547, Death Toll At 62

Here’s all you need to know about it:

What’s Cluster Containment And Where It’s Implemented?

Health officials identify areas where three or more Covid-19 positive patients are found. A three-kilometre area around the Covid-19 patient’s home is surveyed house-to-house. Right now in Maharashtra, this is followed every time even a single positive case is found.

How Is The Survey Conducted?

After the containment zone is finalised, a map of that area is created. Teams are formed and assigned keeping in mind the population and the number of houses.

Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., the team members go house-to-house to collect information about cold, fever, cough, shortness of breath, among other symptoms. This is done for 14 days and a list of patients is prepared. If a suspected patient is found, the person is sent to a large hospital.

Apart from conducting the survey, the teams also try to trace contacts of a patient tested positive and also create public awareness.

Where Are Members Of These Teams Drawn From?

A team comprises health department workers, nurses, malaria surveillance, ASHA and angandwadi workers, and if needed, nursing college students. Size of a team varies with area and population.

Here’s a list of teams working in different regions of the state.

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