SOPs revised for stricter management of containment, buffer zones


With the Centre stressing on stricter norms for containment zones, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has issued a revised standard operating procedure (SOP) for the containment zones in the city.

An order issued by BBMP Commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar on Saturday states that the containment zones should remain under strict surveillance with measures in place to check the spread until no new COVID-19 positive cases are identified for 28 days after the incidence of the last case in the zone, and if there are either 10 or less than 10 primary and secondary contacts under home quarantine.

The SOP also covers management of buffer zone, which is the area within 200 metres of the residence of a COVID-19 positive person. Here, the health authorities will conduct active surveillance and social distancing measures, apart from identifying persons with ILI (Influenza-like Illness) and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness), and managing the same through fever clinics or isolation. No public function or gathering is to be allowed in the buffer zone.

Soon after the identification and declaration of a containment zone, the SOP states that teams have to be formed for crisis management, to monitor health, policing and provide municipal services, such as solid waste management and distribution of essential commodities.

The crisis management team will be headed by the incident commander, who will be responsible for overall management of the containment and buffer zones. The incident commander should ensure marking of the outer limit of the containment zone to facilitate the police in barricading for effective perimeter control.

The health teams have been directed to take up surveillance, contact tracing, sample collection, testing and setting up a health outpost, apart from identifying persons requiring special needs, such as pregnant women, patients with heart disease and other serious ailments.

Meanwhile, for policing, the SOP states that the police personnel have to cordon off all roads and seal down completely by barricading, besides ensuring no person enters or exits the containment zone. They will have to undertake complete curfew management, report daily on whether the barricading is intact or damaged. Though entry of private vehicle into the containment zone is prohibited, entry and exit passes may be issued by the jurisdictional police for delivery of essential services and medical emergencies.

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With regard to supply and delivery of essentials to residents in the containment zone, essential commodities should be made available at their doorstep, the SOP states. Food packets and ration kits should be provided to the needy in the containment zone. Service providers, such as plumbers, electricians, and gas agency, have to be enlisted to facilitate related services.

For solid waste management, apart from spraying of disinfectants in the containment zone, daily waste management, inclusive of bio-medical waste management, should be ensured.

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Sagar Biswas

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