Kochi: Amid rise in coronavirus cases in Kannur, the Kerala government has chosen the state police's "triple lock containment" strategy to check the spread of the infection in the northern district. The strategy had helped in arresting the spread of the deadly virus in neighbouring Kasaragod, which was one of the first COVID-19 hotspots in the country.
The decision to replicate it in Kannur was taken after the district emerged as a new hotspot, reporting most number of COVID-19 cases in the state, overtaking Kasaragod district, Inspector General of Police Vijay Sakhare said.
The triple lock, which involves a combination of technology and human surveillance and restricting movement of people in three stages, has come into force in Kannur district, he said.
While Lock-I envisages broader restriction of movement of all people residing in the district, Lock-II is for people living in distinct geographical areas with positive cases and the third stage is targeted effort to keep primary and secondary contacts of COVID-19 patient in their homes.
All entries and exits in the containment zones are blocked by deploying police personnel.
According to the latest data released by the government, Kannur has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state at over 60 with ten new cases while Kasaragod, which accounted for most cases in the state once, now has only 25 people under treatment for the virus.
The triple lock strategy was conceptualised and implemented under the leadership of Sakhare, who was deputed to Kasaragod as a special officer by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan last month after the situation there turned alarming.
The chief minister in his press conference on Monday praised the Kasaragod model, saying strict enforcement of lockdown by police and better medical care helped the district to come out of the grip of the virus.
Sakhare said the interventions in the three locks COVID containment strategy are a combination of professional policing techniques and innovative use of technology.
"It is possible to apply the strategy to any other location or situation as professional policing practices- conducting surveillance, enquiries, investigations and enforcement of order- and technology do not change with place and people," he said.
The officer said this measure alone was applied to the pandemic situation that existed in Kasaragod on March 25.
"As a result of these interventions, the reporting of new positive cases dropped sharply," Sakhare, who is the Police Commissioner of Kochi, said.
According to him, the impact of containment strategy can be gauged from the fact that in a period of 11 days after April 7, only 12 cases were reported as against 75 cases in the preceding 11 days, a significant reduction of 84 per cent.
"Since last one week-from April 12 to April 18 only one positive case was reported. The impact of triple lock containment strategy of police started appearing in the results, which is in line with two weeks of incubation period for the virus," he said.
The results have demonstrated that the strategy was extremely successful in containing the spread of virus, the officer said.
"The success of strategy can be gauged from the fact that it has brought weekly reporting of cases from 64 to barely 2 with in the span of three weeks - a reduction of 97 per cent," he added.