‘Keep distance’ to beat covid variants

Physical distancing still remains the best way to beat new variants, says official

By   |  Published: 7th May 2021  12:34 amUpdated: 7th May 2021  12:57 am
Police personnel take pictures before penalising violators of the ‘Mask On’ rule in Balkampet in Hyderabad on Thursday. — Photo:Surya Sridhar

Hyderabad: The new variants of the coronavirus and their ability to quickly infect others have fuelled the ongoing second wave across the country. With difficulties in accessing Covid vaccines expected to last the entire year, public health specialists have acknowledged that physical distancing has now become a vital tool to crush the second wave and the ensuing phases of the pandemic.

Irrespective of what the new variant is, the fact remains that physical distancing is the key to keep the virus at bay. Physical distancing reduces the surge of Covid infections and relieves pressure on health care facilities. To emphasise the need to change the behaviour of the general public, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India (GoI), Dr K Vijay Raghavan on Thursday in a series of tweets highlighted the need to maintain physical distancing to defeat the SARS-CoV-2.

“All must work together now, address urgent, immediate, needs. This is vital. Reduce, crush pandemic by following appropriate behaviour now rigorously everywhere. The virus spreads through us. We must, can stop it. This a time for us to work together and ensure that we, India and the world, get out of this pandemic,” Dr Raghavan said.

The senior scientist pointed out the importance of distancing, which does not allow the virus to jump from one individual to another through aerosol transmission. There is also a need for behavioural change among individuals to fully embrace physical distancing and universal use of masks to ensure the virus does not get opportunities to spread.

“What we at every level need to do is to effectively maintain physical distance and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, which is critically important. Next, what we can and should do ourselves is simply stated may be difficult to implement, but we must do it. The best time for us to change our behaviour is now,” he said.

Dr Vijay Raghavan pointed out that physical distancing can exponentially bring down the spread because the virus can only spread from human to human. “In each of our diverse contexts, we need to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour that is most effective. Otherwise, the virus will exponentially spread,” he said.

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