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 Table of Contents 
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 3778-3780  

Mock drill activity: Are we really prepared to tackle COVID-19 pandemic?


Department of Community Medicine, Pt. JLNGMCH, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, India

Date of Submission15-Apr-2020
Date of Decision10-Jun-2020
Date of Acceptance25-Jun-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sumit Chawla
Department of Community Medicine, Pt. JLNGMCH, Chamba - 176 310, Himachal Pradesh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_626_20

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How to cite this article:
Singh H, Chawla S, Bharti, Arora I. Mock drill activity: Are we really prepared to tackle COVID-19 pandemic?. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:3778-80

How to cite this URL:
Singh H, Chawla S, Bharti, Arora I. Mock drill activity: Are we really prepared to tackle COVID-19 pandemic?. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Aug 9];9:3778-80. Available from: http://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2020/9/7/3778/290841



The unexpected disruptions caused by the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic has caught all of us by surprise and suddenly put the entire world in a state of panic. Nobody knows how things will get from here. What we're witnessing is indeed an event to get ready from a healthcare workers' point of view. The window of opportunity provided by the lockdown of the entire country provides us the chance to prepare our tertiary care hospitals for the future as the pandemic unfolds. Keeping this in view a drill activity is need of the hour. The mock drill is a practice or a trial warning drill conducted by an organization to gauge the knowledge of how efficiently and safely the staff manages an emergency using the available resources and hospital protocols to avert any chaotic situation.

Activity: Mock drill for COVID-19 preparedness.

Date of activity:

21 March 2020.

Sponsor: Nil

Location: Pt. JLNGMCH, Chamba, H.P.

Purpose: To provide a real-time experience of screening and managing a case in an epidemic/pandemic situation. These situations evaluate protocols prepared by hospitals and also their staff members' ability to identify and manage emergency response for handling COVID -19 cases.


  Following Preparations Were Done by Department of Community Medicine Top


  1. Secrecy of the mock drill was maintained and information was limited to the Principal, Additional Director of Institute and the members participating in the drill
  2. A dummy patient was set up with a fake history of visit to Dubai around 7 days back and currently having symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 infection
  3. Two observers were assigned along with the dummy patient to note all the proceedings inside the hospital area
  4. Two members were posted at the entrance gate of the hospital building to make observations while keeping a vigil on the reaction of people entering or exiting the area
  5. Security personnel were kept on standby mode for any eventuality requiring crowd management.





  Observations Followed by Recommendations Top
[Table 1]
Table 1: Observations followed by recommendations for preparation of health institutes during COVID Pandemic

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Till the date of activity, there was no positive COVID-19 case in this district. Hence, this activity was planned for the preparedness protocol of our institute.

A written report containing the summary of observations and recommendations was submitted to the Principal of the medical college. Following which the remedial actions were ordered by the Medical Superintendent and Principal of Institute, which were immediately implemented by concerned officials.

Assessment of Healthcare workers: Doctors, nurses, technicians should undergo knowledge assessment along with skill assessment and if needed the requisite training should be provided to fill the gaps. Mock drill activity serves as an opportunity for emergency response preparedness and is a win-win situation for any institute to tackle pandemic in time of crisis.[1]

Public Health Specialists should be engaged to advise about the reduction of infection in the medical care facility. They will also supervise the handing over of discharged patients to State Surveillance teams for monitoring and tracking these patients until the requisite period is over. They will also supervise proper biomedical waste disposal of the healthcare facility.[1]

Summary: Mock drill ascertained various challenges and deficiencies in terms of suitable equipment, sensitization and training of healthcare providers, possibility of public chaos, and media involvement. It was realized that SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are necessary from the point of patient seeking healthcare to point when the patient leaves the hospital after getting the required and adequate healthcare. Once the SOPs have been developed it is necessary to test them in real-time to identify any gaps in the protocol, any need to modify or make some additions and to prepare for any unforeseen challenges in implementation of the protocols. Mock drill allowed us to fill in those gaps and have a second look in our overall management protocol so that we are ready to provide quality healthcare. Mock drill served beneficial for healthcare workers as well in providing some hands-on experience, refreshing their skills as well as to get some real-time valuable feedback for the health administration for making the required improvements or modifications in the protocol that served beneficial both for the healthcare provider as well as the recipient of health services. It also helped us to identify some challenges like we faced to media, general public, and nearby shopkeepers which were otherwise unforeseen. So this one of its kind activities helped our institution in identifying key problem areas, refresh training of the healthcare staff and second opportunity in improving our preparedness.

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge Principal, Medical Superintendent, Additional Director of the Institute for their valuable guidance and administrative support. We also acknowledge the contribution of the staff of our department. We would also like to acknowledge Dr Munish Kumar, Medical Officer and other staff posted in Emergency for prompt response and action in the emergency ward. Special mention is noted for Dr Habib Ur Rehman (Statistician) Community Medicine Department for his assistance.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Government of India. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. COVID 19 updates. Available from: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/MockDrill.pdf.  Back to cited text no. 1
    



 
 
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