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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
 Table of Contents  
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 165-166

Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak effective containment: Need and scope of information network and risk communication


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 Submission13-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance28-Apr-2020
Date of Web Publication23-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. 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, Chengalpet District- 603108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_73_20

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  Abstract 


Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) outbreak continues to increase in terms of caseload and geographical distribution and the attributed deaths worldwide. Even though, the public health authorities should aim for the strengthening of all the domains, an extremely crucial element of the response plan has to be designing a risk communication system, which is in place for ensuring that correct information is delivered to the community in real-time. In order to respond to this concern, the World Health Organization has designed an information network for epidemics, which is an innovative tool and plays a defining role in ensuring the provision of trustworthy and customized information to the different sections of the community across the world. In conclusion, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak is the biggest global public health priority and it is important to acknowledge that support from the community will be an important factor in enabling the effective containment of the outbreak. Thus, it is our responsibility to ensure that we establish a strong risk communication system and develop trust with the community by passing reliable and time-based information.

Keywords: China, COVID-19 outbreak, risk communication, world health organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak effective containment: Need and scope of information network and risk communication. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2020;13:165-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak effective containment: Need and scope of information network and risk communication. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 11];13:165-6. Available from: http://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2020/13/2/165/287422




  Introduction Top


Corona Virus Disease2019 (COVID19) outbreak continues to increase in terms of caseload and geographical distribution and the attributed deaths worldwide.[1],[2] The COVID19 outbreak was declared as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern owing to its international spread and persistent rise in the caseload on January 30, 2020. From the global perspective, a total of 1,914,916 cases of the disease has been reported, with the European and the American regions accounting for the highest share of the global caseload.[1] The disease has accounted for 123,010 deaths worldwide since the detection of the first case in the Wuhan city, and the case fatality rate has been estimated as 6.4%, which is much higher than the seasonal influenza epidemics.[1]

In terms of the disease distribution, it has been reported in 212 nations and territories other than China, and the number increases with each day.[1],[2] It is quite an encouraging sign that China has been successful in reducing the caseload and attributed deaths, but a simultaneous rise in the incidence and case fatality rate has been reported in the other affected nations.[1] Among the recent developments, wherein the disease has been declared as a pandemic, we have to acknowledge and give credit to China, wherein a massive and aggressive response plan was implemented right from the start, and it received immense support from all stakeholders, including policymakers and the community.[2],[3]

COVID-19: Risk communication system

The disease has been able to increase to the current estimates, and it is predominantly because of the lack of preparedness and shortcomings in the emergency response action plan in most of the affected and unaffected nations.[1],[2] It is the need of the hour that the public health authorities should aim for the strengthening of all the domains (viz. early detection, isolation, treatment, search for more cases, epidemiological investigations, research, etc.) of the disease containment. However, risk communication system is an extremely crucial element of the response plan, which should be established to ensure that correct information is delivered to the community in real time.[3],[4] Any failure or shortcoming on this dimension will complicate the entire scenario, as it will act as a catalyst in spreading rumors, lack of trust, confusion, and misinformation about the disease and thereby challenging the task of health authorities to effectively contain the outbreak.[5]

Steps by the World Health Organization

In order to respond to this concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designed an information network for epidemics, which is an innovative tool and plays a defining role in ensuring the provision of trustworthy and customized information to the different sections of the community worldwide.[4] In fact, the WHO had already framed the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and a mechanism to report Weekly Mortality and Morbidity Report for all the diseases, even before the COVID19 infection emerged. However, the activities need to be intensified while managing the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, as it is being caused by a novel virus, the demand for various aspects of the disease will be high, and it becomes the responsibility of the health authorities to provide information which can be trustworthy.[3],[5]

In the risk communication system intended for COVID19, emphasis should be given toward the provision of accurate information in a timebound manner and also prioritize that the aspect of the information which is needed the most by the community.[4] It is quite obvious that the information cannot be delivered by a single agency, as many people will look for getting the reliable information through those agencies (via. World Economic Forum, Travel and Tourism, Trade unions, etc.) which they trust, and thus, a liaison has been established with these organizations to spread the right information.[4]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, the ongoing COVID19 outbreak is the biggest global public health priority, and it is important to acknowledge that support from the community will be an important factor in enabling the effective containment of the outbreak. Thus, it is our responsibility to ensure that we establish a strong risk communication system and develop trust with the community by passing reliable and timebased information.

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 – 86; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200415-sitrep-86-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=c615ea20_4. [Last accessed on 2020 Apr 16].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Cohen J, Kupferschmidt K. Strategies shift as coronavirus pandemic looms. Science 2020;367:962-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
World Health Organization. In: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-ncov): Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2019. p. 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Report – 45; 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200305-sitrep-45-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=ed2ba78b_2. [Last accessed on 2020 Mar 13].  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
World Health Organization. Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Readiness and Response to the 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)-Interim Guidance v2. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; p: 1-3.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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