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Can we shift from ‘man-2-man’ to ‘zonal defence’?

By Neil Quarmby, CEO of Intelligence Rising

The relatively swift implementation of evidence-led, one size fits all shut-down for nations grappling with COVID-19 solves the problem of controlling outbreaks. The complication of evidence-led being that there needs to be evidence before action can be taken, hence action is often taken on the problem that was... For example, ‘data-modelling’ is conducted in lieu of knowledge and this may be based on others’ data… But the data may be intrinsically false, missing key elements, or may relate to circumstances not entirely analogous. An example is using modelling data from a country with a large population confined to a very small geographic area with poor health and travel protections in place, for decisions in a country that has none of these features.

So while the one-size fits all makes sense in its immediate impact, it becomes confused and misleading to communities when the team has to change strategy…like shifting from ‘man-2-man’ marking to a ‘zonal defence’ marking system in team sport. As countries now need to consider stages of removal of controls, risk-constructed intelligence will be important for decision-making and the current data-led analysis less informative.

To improve the training we are conducting through, Intelligence Rising would like to engage all analysts out there currently sitting frustrated on the sidelines, to engage in a discussion about what the ‘intelligence-led’ shape of a zonal defence system could look like if they were able to inform the health regulatory system. As a starter, take the idea of establishing green zones where there has been no uncontrolled community infections and where enforcement resources are prioritized on core risks such as border controls. Each green zone can have a red zone of maximum quarantine control for high risk travelers and patients. All activity is open in green zones and green zones can abut green zones to assist local controls and coordination. Movement between green zones would still need to be controlled.

Orange zones have known cases of community spread which have yet to be controlled and infection identified. Orange zones would have high levels of internal controlled activity, movement and borders locked down. Orange zones would have red zones for high risk quarantine.

Do we have the level of maturity in health regulation to shift from evidence-led to intelligence-led and change the team’s strategy? What would intelligence support to the coordinators of each zone look like?

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