The updated Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan outlines the steps needed to transition to and maintain a steady-state of low-level to no Coronavirus transmission, the best possible available outcome given the lack of immunity or a vaccine at this time.
- COVID‑19 transmission is controlled to a level of sporadic cases and clusters of cases, all from known contacts or importations and the incidence of new cases should be maintained at a level that the health system can manage with substantial clinical care capacity in reserve.
- Sufficient health system and public health capacities are in place to enable the major shift from detecting and treating mainly serious cases to detecting and isolating all cases, irrespective of severity and origin:
- Detection: suspect cases should be detected quickly after symptom onset through active case finding, self-reporting, entry screening, and other approaches;
- Testing: all suspected cases should have test results within 24 hours of identification and sampling, and there would be sufficient capacity to verify the virus-free status of patients who have recovered;
- Isolation: all confirmed cases could be effectively isolated (in hospitals and/or designated housing for mild and moderate cases, or at home with sufficient support if designated housing is not available) immediately and until they are no longer infectious;
- Quarantine: all close contacts could be traced, quarantined and monitored for 14 days, whether in specialized accommodation or self-quarantine. Monitoring and support can be done through a combination of visits by community volunteers, phone calls, or messaging.
- Outbreak risks in high-vulnerability settings are minimized, which requires all major drivers and/or amplifiers of COVID‑19 transmission to have been identified, with appropriate measures in place to minimize the risk of new outbreaks and of nosocomial
transmission (e.g. appropriate infection prevention and control, including triage, and provision of personal protective equipment in health care facilities and residential care settings).
- Workplace preventive measures are established to reduce risk, including the appropriate directives and capacities to promote and enable standard COVID-19 prevention measures in terms of physical distancing, hand washing, respiratory etiquette and, potentially, temperature monitoring.
- Risk of imported cases managed through an analysis of the likely origin and routes of importations, and measures would be in place to rapidly detect and manage suspected cases among travelers (including the capacity to quarantine individuals arriving from areas with community transmission).
- Communities are fully engaged and understand that the transition entails a major shift, from detecting and treating only serious cases to detecting and isolating all cases, that behavioral prevention measures must be maintained, and that all individuals have key roles in enabling and in some cases implementing new control measures.