Curbing Covid transmission in Telangana a big task

On June 5, the number of active Covid-19 patients was at 1,550 and by July 5 it rose to 10,457.

By Author  |  Published: 6th Jul 2020  12:33 am
Health workers arrive to administer a medical camp in a slum in Mumbai, India, Sunday, June 28, 2020. (AP Photo)

Hyderabad: More than the mortality rate, it is the transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2, which has become a major challenge for public health officials and general public in Hyderabad and across the districts in Telangana.

Exactly a month ago, on June 5, the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Telangana State was 3,290 and the number of fatalities was 113 and in a month by July 5, the cumulative positive cases in the State reached 22,312 and the toll to 288. On June 5, the number of active Covid-19 patients was at 1,550 and by July 5 it rose to 10,457.

According to the health bulletin, within a month 19,022 more persons have tested positive for Covid-19, which is a clear indication that high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 continues to remain a major headache for public health planners who are trying to get a grip over the cases in Hyderabad and elsewhere in TS.

Controlling transmissibility

“While the public health department and hospitals are playing their role in containing the Covid-19 outbreak, there is a need for people to realise the importance of adopting masks, sanitizers and physical distancing in all walks of life. As the economy is being unlocked in phases, the virus is moving freely along with the movement of the people. From the community point of view, taking these precautions is mandatory because they are the best ways to avoid new infections,” says Director of Public Health and Family Welfare Dr G Srinivas Rao.

Measuring pathogen

Estimating the ability of a new pathogen to spread is a vital measure in the fight to contain the outbreak and the metric that is usually used to describe the spread of the pathogen is the reproductive rate depicted as Ro. Worldwide, Ro is defined as the average number of secondary transmissions from one infected person and when the Ro is greater than 1, then it is a given that the epidemic is growing.

Public health experts worldwide are struggling with higher Ro of SARS-CoV-2 when compared to the first SARS epidemic that occurred a few years ago, the swine flu pandemic of 2009 and even the influenza pandemic of 1918. At present, the average Ro of SARS-CoV-02 across in the World is 2.5, which means one Covid-19 positive patient infects anywhere between two and three healthy persons.

Based on the study ‘Comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemics’, published on July 3 in the prestigious peer review journal The Lancet, the Ro of the present SARS-Cov-2 is far more than other influenza pandemics, SARS and MERS outbreaks.


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