Apollo Medicine

SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 57--58

Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak: Strengthening infection prevention and control measures to reduce hospital-acquired infection


Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2,  
1 Department of Community Medicine, Medical Education Unit Coordinator and Member of the Institute Research Council, 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

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
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

Abstract

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern and now the overall risk of transmission at global level has also been decided as very high based on the available facts. The effective containment of the infection will require a coordinated response from multiple stakeholders and strengthening of infection prevention and control (IPC), surveillance, diagnostics, treatment, risk communication, and research activities. Among all, it will be ideal to give more emphasis toward IPC as it is a major domain in prevention and mitigation of the ongoing outbreak. It is quite obvious that giving only attention to personal protective equipment will not accomplish significant gains unless it is well supported by administrative, environmental, and engineering interventions. In conclusion, in the battle against the COVID-19, the IPC measures need to be strengthened extensively both in hospital and community settings and thus specific attention has to be given toward the same.



How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak: Strengthening infection prevention and control measures to reduce hospital-acquired infection.Apollo Med 2021;18:57-58


How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak: Strengthening infection prevention and control measures to reduce hospital-acquired infection. Apollo Med [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 May 18 ];18:57-58
Available from: https://www.apollomedicine.org/text.asp?2021/18/1/57/309592


Full Text



 Introduction



The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak has been declared a public health emergency of international concern and the overall risk of transmission at global level has also been decided as very high.[1] The global estimates depict that a cumulative total of 75 million cases and close to 1.7 million deaths have been reported worldwide, as on December 21, 2020.[1] The case fatality rate of the disease has increased to 2.2% and the infection has been reported across 222 nations and territories.[1] The available estimates clearly suggest that in the coming days, the disease will become a major public health challenge for the world to contain, especially if we do not improve our preparedness and response plan.[1],[2]

 Infection Prevention and Control



The effective containment of the infection will require a coordinated response from multiple stakeholders and strengthening of infection prevention and control (IPC), surveillance, diagnostics, treatment, risk communication, and research activities.[2],[3] Among all, it will be ideal to give more emphasis toward IPC as it is a major domain in prevention and mitigation of the ongoing outbreak.[4] The available evidence pertaining to the dynamics of disease transmission suggests that the infection is transmitted between humans through close contacts and droplets, and not via the airborne route, and thus the role of prevention and containment measures is indispensable in both hospital and community settings.[1],[2],[3]

 Infection Prevention and Control in Community Settings



From the community perspective, a set of IPC measures have been advocated, namely adherence to hand hygiene using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water; refrain from touching eyes, nose, and mouth; practicing standard cough etiquettes; safe disposal of the contaminated tissues; the use of a mask if you have respiratory symptoms; and avoiding close contact with the symptomatic individuals.[4],[5]

 Infection Prevention and Control in Hospital Settings



However, in the health-care settings, the rational use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been envisaged to protect health professionals from acquiring as well as transmitting the infection.[4] The health professionals should be sensitized about choosing the most appropriate PPE based on the procedure in which they are involved and the manner in which they should be worn, removed, and eventually disposed.[4] It is quite obvious that giving only attention to PPE will not accomplish significant gains unless it is well supported with administrative (viz., infrastructure support, specific IPC policies, triage and fast-tracking of patients, trained staff, and better heath personnel to patient ratios), environmental, and engineering interventions.[2],[4],[5]

These environmental measures play an important role in minimizing the spread of the microorganism and also reducing the chances of surface/fomites contamination. This can be accomplished by maintaining a minimum distance of 1 meter between patients and also between patients and health professionals and by improving the ventilation facilities in the health facilities.[3],[4],[5] Further, it becomes really essential to maintain adequate stocks of PPE and ensure that their usage is rational.[4]

 Conclusion



In the battle against the COVID-19, the IPC measures need to be strengthened extensively both in hospital and community settings and thus specific attention has to be given toward the same.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1World Health Organization. Weekly Operational Update on COVID-19-21 December 2020; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-operational-update-on-covid-19---21-december-2020. [Last accessed on 2020 Dec 22].
2Jernigan DB; CDC COVID-19 Response Team. Update: Public health response to the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak – United States, February 24, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:216-9.
3World Health Organization. 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-20.
4World Health Organization. Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) interim guidance. Geneva: WHO Press; 2020. p. 1-6.
5Zhou JQ, Dong W, Xu HL, Cai YM, Sheng DH, Wu FY, et al. Attention should be paid to the exposure risk of patients with chronic wounds on the way to hospital during corona virus disease 2019 epidemic prevention and control. Zhonghua Shao Shang Za Zhi 2020;36:E003.