Nation Current Affairs 11 Mar 2020 Be alert: Doctors sa ...

Be alert: Doctors say coronavirus is at the 'doubling effect' stage in India

Published Mar 11, 2020, 10:55 am IST
Updated Mar 11, 2020, 10:55 am IST
A couple wearing facemasks as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, smear their faces with colour to celebrate 'Holi'. (AFP)
 A couple wearing facemasks as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, smear their faces with colour to celebrate 'Holi'. (AFP)

Hyderabad: Suspected and confirmed cases of caronavirus (Covid-19) have grown alarmingly in India in the last two weeks, with epidemiologists saying it is the ‘doubling effect’ that is now visible, with 59 cases tested positive till today.

In a span of two last weeks, the country has seen a spurt in cases, where the ‘seven day transmission cycle’ as a pattern is clearly visible. The hotspots of Covid-19 are Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Kerala.

The seven-day cycle is the time period the virus developing in the body needs to manifest, after which symptoms like cough, cold and fever show up. In these seven days, the person is in contact with many people and ratio of transmission is 1:2.

Dr K.K. Aggarwal, president, Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania, said, “Those who have come from Covid-19 affected countries have brought the virus to India. They were have transferred it to those whom they came in touch with. Hence ‘contact human to human transmission’ has started in India. We now have to be very alert. We can still contain the virus but need to isolate contact people impacted by it and monitor them. Home isolation is significant. They must follow right methods of personal hygiene, like hand washing, cough manners and cleaning of surfaces they have touched with disinfectants. Those in contact with patients must also maintain a distance and use a handkerchief or mask for protection.”

The Kerala family has infected grandparents and two other relatives, creating an alarm.

Dr Mustufa Afzal, senior infection specialist, Care Hospitals, said, “in Kerala, transmission cases are an indication of secondary infection. The contact person from Italy infected the family members. They are mild cases but the spread has begun. When Kerala, which has one of the best health systems in India, is seeing the spread, it is important that other states remain alert and proactive in contact tracing and containing people. That is the best way to control spread of the disease.”

Epidemiologists say that it is still possible to contain as there was no spread into the larger community so far. While the total number of cases so is 59, Kerala has the highest number (15), Delhi 4, Haryana 14 (hospitalised in Jaipur from Haryana), Uttar Pradesh 9, Jammu & Kashmir 1, Ladakh 2, Maharashtra 5, Punjab 1, Rajasthan 2, Karnataka 4, Telangana 1, Tamil Nadu 1.

Delhi is a major hub, but only four cases have been identified as many others are yet to be traced properly, epidemiologists say. There are still 23 positive tests from different states of India, but awaiting confirmation from the National Institute of Virology.

A senior health official said, “In South Korea and Iran, the doubling effect took one day while in Italy it took three days. Both these countries had super spreaders, which led to widespread movement of virus. India underestimated the transmission possibility from Italy and Iran. There was a strong mis-belief in that as SARS and MERS virus never made it to India, Covid-19 too would not come.” 

But the seven-day cycle is an indication that multiplication from contact level has started and people must follow effective personal hygiene, he added.

Location: India, Telangana, Hyderabad


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