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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 67-68

Strategies to protect camp residents from coronavirus disease-2019


1 Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the 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 Submission23-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance09-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication19-May-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
MD, FAIMER, PGDHHM, DHRM, FCS, ACME, Professor, 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, Chengalpet District - 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JDRNTRUHS.JDRNTRUHS_41_20

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  Abstract 


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent emergence of variants of the causative virus has compromised the public health system and even highlighted our shortcomings in preparedness and response plan. Considering the fact that we have fallen short in our efforts to contain the disease among normal populations, it becomes a really big challenge for the authorities to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents (outbreaks) in vulnerable settings like camps. As most of the inmates will have not much awareness about the infection or will have misconceptions about the disease, the first and foremost strategy is to create awareness about the disease and explain them about the way disease can be prevented or manifests. The need of the hour is to ensure that provisions are strengthened for early identification & initiation of prompt treatment to the infected people. To conclude, the outbreak of COVID-19 in camp settings can prove to be quite severe considering the fact that their environment is quite compromised and they are highly vulnerable to acquire the infection. It is essential that specific targeted interventions are planned and implemented to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Keywords: COVID-19, Camp, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strategies to protect camp residents from coronavirus disease-2019. J NTR Univ Health Sci 2021;10:67-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strategies to protect camp residents from coronavirus disease-2019. J NTR Univ Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Jun 23];10:67-8. Available from: https://www.jdrntruhs.org/text.asp?2021/10/1/67/316324




  Background Top


The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the subsequent emergence of variants of the causative virus has compromised the public health system and even highlighted our shortcomings in preparedness and response plan.[1] This is quite evident as on March 18, 2021, a total of 116,363,935 people were diagnosed with the novel viral infection, while 2.58 million people have lost their lives to the novel viral infection.[2] The disease has been reported across 219 nations and territories and the global case fatality rate has increased to 2.2%.[2] This calls for the need to launch a response that is supported by multiple stakeholders and is implemented in a collaborative fashion, with active support from the members of the community.[1],[2]

Ground reality: Vulnerability among camp residents

Considering the fact that we have fallen short in our efforts to contain the disease among normal populations, it becomes a really big challenge for the authorities to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents (outbreaks) in vulnerable settings like camps.[3] It does not come as a surprise that camp residents are already prone to discrimination and ignorance, nevertheless, the emergence of COVID-19 outbreak has raised serious questions about their safety and well-being, especially when they are not mentally and physically ready to deal with this.[3],[4] The disease has been linked with significant psychological consequences, owing to the isolation of the positive cases and the potential contacts, which not only plays a significant role in the augmentation of the problem, but also questions the readiness of the camps to provide facilities for isolation.[4],[5]

Further, we cannot ignore the shortage of logistics and the absence of welfare measures in these settings, which makes the inmates extremely vulnerable to acquire and promptly transfer the infection.[3],[4]

Strategies to enhance safety of camp inmates

As most of the inmates will have not much awareness about the infection or will have misconceptions about the disease, the first and foremost strategy is to create awareness about the disease and explain them about the way disease can be prevented or manifests. It is quite essential that we should take specific measures to ensure that the inmates agree for getting tested and accept its role in the initiation of treatment.[6] Further, to provide directions to the ongoing interventions, a set of guidelines have also been devised to augment the readiness and response action to the potential outbreak.[4],[7]

It is also important to create facilities for the self-isolation of the identified cases, especially if the clinical manifestations are not severe or the hospital bed occupancy rate is on the higher side.[8] The need of the hour is to ensure that provisions are strengthened for early identification & initiation of prompt treatment to the infected people.[9],[10] It is quite an effective approach to utilize the services of a rapid response team, which can be activated, once any case is detected in the camp settings for the timely initiation of the response action plan.[7],[9] Moreover, efforts should be taken to establish linkages with health centers for screening, referral, isolation and treatment of confirmed cases.[4]


  Conclusion Top


To conclude, the outbreak of COVID-19 in camp settings can prove to be quite severe considering the fact that their environment is quite compromised and they are highly vulnerable to acquire the infection. It is essential that specific targeted interventions are planned and implemented to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Tian HY. 2019-nCoV: New challenges from coronavirus. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi 2020;54:235-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Weekly operational update on COVID-19-8 March 2021; 2021. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-operational-update-on-covid-19---8-march-2021. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 09].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Vince G. The world's largest refugee camp prepares for covid-19. BMJ 2020;368:m1205.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Inter-Agency Standing Committee. Interim Guidance-Scaling-Up Covid-19 outbreak readiness and response operations in humanitarian situations, including camps and camp-like settings. Available from: https://interagencystandingcommittee.org/system/files/2020-03/IASC%20Interim%20Guidance%20on%20COVID-19%20for%20Outbreak%20Readiness%20and%20Response%20Operations%20-%20Camps%20and%20Camp-like%20Settings.pdf. [Last accessed on 2021 Mar 09].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Kizilhan JI, Noll-Hussong M. Psychological impact of COVID-19 in a refugee camp in Iraq. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2020;74:659-60.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
McGowan CR, Hellman N, Chowdhury S, Mannan A, Newell K, Cummings R. COVID-19 testing acceptability and uptake amongst the Rohingya and host community in Camp 21, Teknaf, Bangladesh. Confl Health 2020;14:74.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Jubayer F, Kayshar S, Limon TI. First COVID-19 case in the Rohingya camp in Bangladesh: Needs proper attention. Public Health 2021;191:20.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Raju E, Ayeb-Karlsson S. COVID-19: How do you self-isolate in a refugee camp? Int J Public Health 2020;65:515-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Gilman RT, Mahroof-Shaffi S, Harkensee C, Chamberlain AT. Modelling interventions to control COVID-19 outbreaks in a refugee camp. BMJ Glob Health 2020;5:e003727.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 10
    




 

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