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Table of Contents
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 214-215

Utilizing a risk assessment and mitigation measure checklist to reduce the threat of coronavirus disease-2019 outbreak in social gatherings


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 Submission08-May-2020
Date of Acceptance13-May-2020
Date of Web Publication25-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 - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/JNSM.JNSM_42_20

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  Abstract 


The impact of the Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic extends beyond the health dimension alone and has also simultaneously affected the socioeconomic domains. It is noteworthy that in some of the nations, outbreaks of the disease have been linked with religious gatherings, which acts as a ground for rapid transmission of the disease, if appropriate prevention and control measures are not taken. Under ideal scenario, as long as the threat of the pandemic looms over the world, it is best to avoid any social or religious gatherings and encourage virtual meetings with the help of the religious leaders. However, if the gathering is a must and cannot be avoided, it should be planned after conducting the risk assessment and checking for mitigation measures. In conclusion, it is extremely important that a systematic approach of risk assessment and assessment of mitigation measures is done before any social gathering is planned, as there is a potential risk of onset of new chain of transmission of COVID-19 infection, which in turn can have serious after effects.

Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, mass gatherings, risk, World Health Organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Utilizing a risk assessment and mitigation measure checklist to reduce the threat of coronavirus disease-2019 outbreak in social gatherings. J Nat Sci Med 2020;3:214-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Utilizing a risk assessment and mitigation measure checklist to reduce the threat of coronavirus disease-2019 outbreak in social gatherings. J Nat Sci Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 12];3:214-5. Available from: http://www.jnsmonline.org/text.asp?2020/3/3/214/287700




  Introduction Top


The impact of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic extends beyond the health dimension alone and has also simultaneously affected the socioeconomic domains. Till date, a total of 3,672,238 cases and 254,045 deaths have been reported across 215 nations and territories, and these estimates are increasing with each day.[1] It is noteworthy that in some of the nations, outbreaks of the disease have been linked with religious gatherings, which act as a ground for rapid transmission of the disease, if appropriate prevention and control measures are not taken. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of the organizers to strictly adhere to the norms set by government authorities and not deviate from the same.[2]


  Covid-19 and Social Gatherings Top


Under ideal scenario, as long as the threat of the pandemic looms over the world, it is best to avoid any social or religious gatherings and encourage virtual meetings with the help of the religious leaders.[2] However, if the gathering is a must and cannot be avoided, it is extremely important that the organizers should be aware about the ongoing outbreak, the mode of transmission of the disease, and the measures to be taken to prevent the acquisition of the infection.[2] At the same time, the organizers should take into account the present stage of the outbreak in the nation, nature of transmission, geographical distribution, number of participants expected to attend the gathering, individual risk profile of the attendees (viz., elderly or presence of comorbidity), and the mitigation measures which are already in place.[2],[3],[4]


  Checklist for Risk Assessment Top


In fact, the World Health Organization has developed a checklist both to conduct risk assessment and to identify the presence of mitigation measures in the place earmarked for gathering.[3] The risk assessment domain has to be periodically reassessed as the outbreak is changing with each day and it is important to be abreast with the recent developments. On the other hand, the mitigation measures should assess all the measures which have been planned and implemented to minimize the risk of the spread of the infection, in case a suspect case is reported from the gathering.[3]

It is important to assess the mitigation measures after the risk assessment has been done so that proper correlation can be done. Further, we should not be under a false impression that the presence of mitigation measures completely removes the risk of the infection. This will be followed by estimation of the total risk assessment score for the gathering which can vary from negligible to very high risk and is color coded.[3] In case the risk is on the higher side, all such religious gatherings should not be organized.[2],[3]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, it is extremely important that a systematic approach of risk assessment and assessment of mitigation measures is done before any social gathering is planned, as there is a potential risk of onset of new chain of transmission of COVID-19 infection, which in turn can have serious after effects.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 108. World Health Organization; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200507covid-19-sitrep-108.pdf?sfvrsn=44cc8ed8_2. [Last accessed on 2020 May 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Practical Considerations and Recommendations for Religious Leaders and Faith-Based Communities in the Context of COVID-19 - Interim Guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
McCloskey B, Zumla A, Ippolito G, Blumberg L, Arbon P, Cicero A, et al. Mass gathering events and reducing further global spread of COVID-19: A political and public health dilemma. Lancet 2020;395:1096-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-20.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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