CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Annals of the National Academy of Medical Sciences (India)
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1713347
Review Article

Health System Response to COVID-19 Epidemic in India

Prema Ramachandran
1  Nutrition Foundation of India
,
Krishnamurthy Kalaivani
1  Nutrition Foundation of India
› Author Affiliations
  

Abstarct

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic, detected first in China in December 2019, is now rapidly spreading across the world. India responded by drawing up National Containment Plan for COVID-19 that envisaged screening of people for COVID-19 for early detection of infection, providing community, primary health care-centered management for those with mild infection, tertiary care for those with severe infection, and health education to the population to reduce person-to-person transmission of infection. To minimize the spread of infection from other countries, all travelers were screened and quarantined; in the third week of March, India imposed ban on all international travel. To prevent person-to-person spread, congregation of people for commercial, educational, entertainment, sports, religious, and other social activities was banned. To minimize intracity, interstate, and urban rural spread, India imposed nationwide lockdown on 25th March 2020. The lockdown flattened the epidemic curve and provided needed time for the country to reorganize the health system, so that it can provide needed care for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients at all levels of health care. National guidelines for screening of people for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 infection, quarantine, and home isolation and care of infected people were drawn up and implemented. Health education on methods by which person-to-person transmission of infection can be minimized has been provided using all media of communication. Global comparison shows that currently India has low infection rates, low fatality rates per 1,00,000, and high recovery rates. There are ongoing research studies to document the course and outcome of COVID-19 in India. Clinical trials of potential drugs for treatment of severe infections and vaccines for preventing infection in the high-risk groups are underway. A COVID-19 disease surveillance program is underway to track the infection rates and bring appropriate midcourse corrections in interventions. In the coming months, the people and health system will not only have to evolve a sustainable strategy to provide needed care for COVID-19 cases but also ensure that all other health care programs are implemented and patients with other illnesses get optimal care too.



Publication History

Publication Date:
11 June 2020 (online)

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