Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal quoted an ICMR study and said that one coronavirus patient can infect up to 406 people in 30 days if he or she does not follow self-isolation. Agarwal's statements come at a time when India's cases are on a steady rise and the 21-day nationwide lockdown is nearing its end.
The Health Ministry spoke about the medical phenomenon known as R naught or R0, which is a virus' reproductive number used to describe contagiousness. Quoting the ICMR study, Agarwal said COVID-19's R0 is between 1.5 and 4. "If we take the 'R0' to be 2.5 then one positive person can infect 406 people in 30 days, if the lockdown and social distancing measures are not in place, but if social exposure is reduced by 75 per cent then that one sick person will only be able to infect only 2.5 persons," Agarwal said.
Agarwal urged people to follow self-isolation protocols and reiterated the importance of social distancing. He added that cities are leveraging smart infrastructure to develop predictive analysis using heat maps and taking action in movements and monitoring health status of suspected cases.
He added that cluster containment is also producing results in areas such as Agra, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Pathanamthitta, Bhilwara and East Delhi.
Meanwhile, as the tally increases across the country, states have identified coronavirus hotspots. States have also ramped up their testing infrastructure and urged the Centre to extend the lockdown period. The final decision, however, will be taken after the situation is assessed in the states.
Currently, India has 4,643 coronavirus cases, with 149 deaths. According to the Health Ministry data, 401 have been cured or discharged.
INDIA CORONAVIRUS TRACKER: BusinessToday.In brings you a daily tracker as coronavirus cases continue to spread. Here is the state-wise data on total cases, fatalities and recoveries in one comprehensive graphic.
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