Govt issues guidelines for de-notification of Red, Containment Zones

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Government on Wednesday issued guidelines for de-notification of Red/Containment Zones.

Chief Secretary, B.V.R.Subrahmanyam, in the exercise of powers conferred upon him, in the capacity as Chairperson of State Executive Committee, under Section 24 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, issued the guidelines to be followed for de-notifying an existing “Red/Containment Zone” by the Deputy Commissioner concerned.

Pertinently, the State Executive Committee vide its Order No. 38-JK (DMRRR) of 2020 dated 14.04.2020, had notified a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)to be followed in the “Red/Containment Zones” by the concerned authorities of the Government.

The guidelines provides that all districts need to follow a uniform approach for de-notification of  Containment Zones/Red Zones in order to ensure effective control of the COVID-19 infection both in these zones and in the neighborhood.

The guidelines have set criteria to be fulfilled for de-notification of containment zones/ red zones.

It requires, Intensive Testing: Prior to de-notification, sampling and testing using RTPCR testing should be undertaken and completed for the particular groups between the 14th to 21st day from the date of notification of the Zone, the guidelines stated.

The testing needs to be done of “All vulnerable persons including those with comorbidities, pregnant women, those above 50 years of age, those with ILI/ SARI symptoms. Swasthya Nidhi will be used for the identification of vulnerable persons.

There would be ‘Active Surveillance’ with at least three-door to door visits for ILI (Influenza-like Illness) and SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness) cases in the notified Red zone, ideally once every week. Swasthya Nidhi will be used for surveillance, while “All service providers residing in and health care workers attending to people in the Containment Zone/Red Zone and at least 50% of the remaining residents of the Red Zone are to be tested.

The guidelines also underline the Role of Epidemiological investigation.

“Epidemiological investigation by RRT teams should confirm the source of infection or identify the index cases in the notified Red Zone area and this should rule out any other hidden transmission in the said zone as well as probability of any missing case/ Contacts.

There should be no confirmed COVID positive case in the Containment Zone/ Red Zone, other than that of a traveler, who is in quarantine from his date of arrival in the zone, for 21 days after the notification of the Containment Zone/ Red Zone.

The guidelines also provide for Partial De-notification. On fulfillment of the above two criteria, the Containment Zone/Red Zone can be partially de-notified on the 22nd day.

There shall be follow up Random Sampling; Random samples of 10% of the residents shall again be done from the 25th to 30th day.

Full De-notification would be done ‘If there are no more confirmed COVID positive cases.  This would mean that the Zone has had no positive case for 30 days.

The guidelines also provided for ‘Re-notification of Containment Zones/ Red Zones’.  If a positive case is again reported from the Containment Zone/ Red Zone during the random sampling phase or earlier, It shall again be re-notified once again as a Containment Zone/ Red Zone and the SOP for these zones will be implemented again in toto.

The partial de-notification and full de-notification can be done only after there is a clear gap of 21 days and 30 days respectively from the last positive case detected in the Zone.

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