Globally, countries/ states are struggling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, each implementing one or more strategies as part of its response. This article will broadly discuss approaches to dealing with an infectious disease pandemic.
The initial response to a pandemic is containment- efforts to contain the infection within a geographical area. This is appropriate in the initial phase of a pandemic when there are limited number of cases, and includes:
- Detection of the initial outbreak;
- Laboratory confirmation and identification of pathogen;
- Contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation;
- Communication and community engagement;
- Situational awareness
Most of the containment measures listed above have been developed and studied in high-income settings with good public health infrastructure. Resource-limited settings have several challenges to adopting/ implementing the above.