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Adoption of a protocol among healthcare workers to improve the containment of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission22-Feb-2020
Date of Decision10-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance24-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava,
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpaet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_57_20

  Abstract 


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which was first detected in the Wuhan city of China has been considered eligible to meet the requirements of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern. It is a fact that healthcare workers constitute the first line of defense against the infection and are involved in patient care related activities by compromising their own safety and quality of life. The current available disease trends neither indicate about the extent of the infection in hospital settings nor about the potential risk factors among health workers. In an attempt to bridge this gap, a protocol has been formulated to assess the extent of the infection and the risk factors which can facilitate the acquisition of the infection. Further, based on the proposed protocol, we can get vital insights about transmissibility and routes of transmission by periodically analyzing laboratory specimens as a part of follow-up. In conclusion, health workers are at the forefront in containing the COVID-19 outbreak amidst all uncertainty and thus it is our responsibility to adopt a standard protocol not only to safeguard them, but also simultaneously generate adequate evidence for better prevention and control of the disease.

Keywords: COVID-19 outbreak, healthcare workers, world health organization



How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Adoption of a protocol among healthcare workers to improve the containment of the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2021 Apr 12]. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=310602




  Introduction Top


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID19) outbreak, which was first detected in the Wuhan city of China, has been considered eligible to meet the requirements of the public health emergency of international concern.[1] In fact, since the first case of the disease was isolated on December 31, 2019, till February 21, 2020, a total of 26 other nations have reported confirmed cases of the disease, suggesting the potential of the virus to spread across international borders.[2] In terms of cumulative incidence, 76,769 cases have been reported and simultaneously 2241 deaths (casefatality rate of 2.9%) have been attributed to the infection.[2] All these are alarming estimates and clearly reflect the need for the nations to improve their level of preparedness and have an action plan to respond to the sudden outbreak of the disease within their national boundaries.[3]

To be frank, we have still not been able to contain the outbreak even after close to 2 months of its emergence and that is primarily because of the uncertainty which surrounds the virological attributes and gap in the knowledge about the various epidemiological and clinical aspects of the infection.[1],[2],[3] The earlier outbreaks of the viruses from the coronavirus group had limited transmission in community settings, but the rates of transmission were significantly high among healthcare establishments.[1] This was because of the nonadherence to the standard infection prevention and control measures or due to overcrowding or at times because of the environmental contribution. Regardless of the reasons, the healthcare workers have been at the maximum potential risk to acquire the infection.[1],[4]

Covid-19 in healthcare settings

It is a fact that healthcare workers constitute the first line of defense against the infection and are involved in patient care-related activities by compromising their own safety and quality of life.[3] At the same time, their role in sustaining infection prevention and control in health settings has been remarkable considering that they have been working for longer working hours and that too under both physical and mental stressful circumstances.[4] The current available disease trends neither indicate the extent of the infection in hospital settings nor indicate the potential risk factors among health workers.

Adoption of a standard protocol

In an attempt to bridge this gap, a protocol has been formulated to assess the extent of the infection and the risk factors which can facilitate the acquisition of the infection.[4] Further, based on the proposed protocol, we can get vital insights about transmissibility and routes of transmission by periodically analyzing laboratory specimens as a part of follow-up.[4]

The protocol simultaneously enables the collection of exposure details and laboratory samples and follows it up with the prompt sharing of the information with the health authorities for timely action and policy decisions.[3],[4] It is important to note that any insights about the infection among healthcare workers and the presence of potential risk factors, which can result in adverse health consequences, will be very crucial not only for preventing future nosocomial transmission of the infection but will also aid in the revision of the existing infection prevention and control guidelines.[4] In addition, the protocol assists in identifying the clinical spectrum of infection, in evaluating infection prevention and control measures among health professionals and in health settings, and in ascertaining the duration and severity of the infection among health workers. The best part of the protocol is that we can very much customize the developed protocol based on the available resources and capacity, and hence, its utility is immense.[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, health workers are at the forefront in containing the COVID-19 outbreak amid all uncertainty, and thus, it is our responsibility to adopt a standard protocol not only to safeguard them but also to simultaneously generate adequate evidence for better prevention and control of the disease.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Statement on the Second Meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee Regarding the Outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV); 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov). [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 22].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 32; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200220-sitrep-31-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=dfd11d24_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 22].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Protocol for Assessment of Potential Risk Factors for 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Infection among Health Care Workers in a Health Care Setting. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2020. p. 3-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

 
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