National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 31 January 2020
Responding to an emergency requirement to create and manage a facility for quarantine of approximately 300 Indian students arriving from Wuhan, China, the Indian Army has acted swiftly and created a facility near Manesar where the students can be monitored for a duration of two weeks by a qualified team of doctors and staff members, to watch for any signs of infection.
Two Step Process. The procedure of screening and quarantine will comprise two steps, the first one being screening at airport followed by quarantine at Manesar and if any individual is suspected to be infected, he/she will be shifted to the isolation ward at Base Hospital Delhi Cantonment (BHDC).
Actions on Arrival at Airport. Screening at the airport will be done by a joint team of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and Airport Health Authority (APHO). During the screening they will be classified into three groups, which are given below:-
– Suspect Case. Individuals with any signs of fever and/or cough and/or respiratory distress will be directly transferred to BHDC.
– Close Contact. Any individual without symptoms but having visited a seafood/animal market or a health facility or having come into contact with a Chinese person with symptoms in the last 14 days will be escorted in an earmarked vehicle directly to the quarantine facility.
– Non Contact Case. Any individual without any symptom(s) or contact or who does not fit into either (a) or (b) will also be clubbed along with the close contact category and sent to the quarantine facility.
Layout of Facility. The facility consists of accommodation barracks for the students, administrative areas and medical facility area. To prevent mass outbreak, the facility has been divided into sectors, each with a maximum capacity of 50 students. Each barrack has been further subdivided into barracks. The population of sectors will not be allowed to intermingle with each other.
Routine at the Facility. Daily medical examination of all students will be done at the medical facility area and all the staff, health care workers and housekeeping staff must wear their personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. PPE consists of mask, eye shield, shoe cover, gown and gloves. Rest of the visitors and all students will wear a three layered mask at all times. After 14 days, persons with no symptoms will be allowed to go home with their detailed documentation sent to the District/ State surveillance units for further surveillance. Those found infected will be shifted to BHDC’s isolation ward for further medical exams and recovery. Samples for viral confirmation will be sent to NCDC, Delhi and patients will be discharged only after clinical recovery and two successive negative samples tested for n-COV. Apart from playing games, watching TV and having meals together within a barrack, no one will be allowed to interact with the members of another barrack and definitely not another sector.
Manpower at the Facility. The facility will be administered by a nominated Officer In Charge (OIC) who will have under his command a Community Medicine Specialist, two Nursing Officers, a Lady Medical Officer and one Nursing Assistant. No civilian or serving personnel detailed to work inside the facility will be allowed to go outside unless compelled by extreme emergency situation.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 15 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.