Revised guidelines for containment and buffer zones

The Karnataka government has revised the guidelines for containment and buffer zones in view of there being “too many containment zones” with a large number of cases being reported from houses and apartments located close to each other. The revised circular has said that the large number of containment zones has made it difficult for authorities to conduct surveillance activities and ensure perimeter control, prompting the need for denotification of containment and buffer zones.

According to the revised guidelines, a containment zone — the area around the residence of a COVID-19 positive person — for an individual case will be the floor of his/her residence in an apartment complex, the house or villa in which the patient resides for individual houses, the street of the residence in a slum, and the complete habitation in a rural area.

“For individual cases, the authorities should paste notice on house, inform the neighbours/RWA/apartment owners association, identify contacts, advise strict home quarantine, ensure testing of contacts, etc.”, the circular says.

The government has clarified that there is “no necessity of hard barricading” and hand stamping of patients and contacts in such cases. Barricading of patients’ houses had led to widespread anger especially in Bengaluru.

In addition, if no new case is reported for at least 14 days, the containment zone will be denotified.

Buffer zones have been classified as “an area where new cases are more likely to appear”. This will be an area of 200 metre radius around the perimeter of containment area in rural and urban areas.

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Sagar Biswas

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