No lockdown for 2-days simulation exercise

The two-days COVID-19 Community Transmission Simulation Exercise is now confirmed for October 31 to November 1, which is this coming Sunday and Monday next week.

The exercise will be conducted in targeted communities and public settings in Port Vila and Efate. The Ministry of Health (MOH) said there will be no roadblock or any lockdown for this event.

On the first day of the simulation, the scenario involves a COVID-19 case being identified at a church gathering, then risk investigation continues resulting in close contacts later being transported to the community isolation site. 

On day two, a person testing positive for COVID-19 will enter a school compound and will undergo risk investigation and close contact will be transported to the community isolation site. Also, there will be another identified case dropped off in Port Vila’s Central Business District.

From there, the identification of the patient risk investigations begins, leading to the identification of five commercial business and close contacts who are transported to the community isolation site.  The locations, businesses, and public institutions to be included in the exercise will be advised in advance.

All the scenarios used are theoretical and are related to different levels under the Vanuatu Outbreak Alert System. Public are advised to cooperate and not to panic if the team is carrying out the simulation close to their communities.

The simulation will help the MOH, relevant government agencies and partners to test the protocols in place, identify gaps, and areas that need to be strengthened to prepare for the event of future COVID-19 cases.

According to the MOH, “the aim of the simulation is to test and strengthen protocols to ensure measures are in place to contain COVID-19 within the quarantine and isolation facilities in the event that it comes to Vanuatu, and prevent the disease from spreading to communities.

“It is also about actions at level 2 when there are clusters of cases in locations and level 3 of the Vanuatu Outbreak Alert System where there is large scale community transmission so that essential services are maintained.

“The implementation of the containment measures as part of the simulation exercise are aimed at testing the COVID-19 preparedness efforts of individuals, communities, organizations and government institution that provide frontline of defense and response to this deadly disease."

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