One covid-19 patient can infect 406 people in absence of lockdown

NEW DELHI: Government’s cluster containment strategy to tackle covid-19 has yielded good results, and curbing the spread of the infection will become difficult if lockdown measures for social distancing are not followed, the Centre said on Tuesday.

“The government is adopting a strategy for cluster containment, which is producing positive results, especially in Agra, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Pathanamthitta, Bhilwara and East Delhi,” said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.

“While 326 persons have been discharged after recovering from the infection, India has a total 4,421 confirmed covid-19 cases. In the last 24 hours, 354 new cases were reported and the death toll had reached 117 with 8 deaths reported since yesterday,” Agarwal said.

Citing a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Agarwal said one covid-19 patient could potentially infect 406 people in 30 days if he/she doesn’t practise social distancing.

“If we follow the proper measures and social distancing, the infection rate can be cut down to just 2.5 people per patient in 30 days,” he said, adding that R0 – the unit to measure the rate at which a person can infect others – is somewhere between 1 and 4.

The ICMR study has suggested an R0 for covid-19 at 2.5.

When asked about the extension of the nationwide lockdown, Agarwal said the government’s decision would be conveyed very soon.

Agarwal also said the government was looking at strengthening dedicated hospitals for the treatment of covid-19 cases and the strategy had been shared with the states.

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