Rising infection rate in the country is a matter of concern, need for aggressive containment strategy – AIIMS chief

AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria expressed concern over the infection rate

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) chief Dr Randeep Guleria has expressed concern over the rising infection rate (R-value) of coronavirus in the country. He said that in areas where the infection rate is increasing, it had been suggested to adopt an aggressive containment strategy.

Dr Guleria also expressed concern over the steady rise in daily cases in the southern state of Kerala and called for a review of the reasons behind it.

Chances of spreading infection from one person increased – Dr Guleria

In an interview with NDTV, Dr Guleria said, “Starting from .96, and going all the way up to 1, the rise in R-Value is a cause of concern. Simply put, this means that the chances of infection spreading from a person who has Covid to others have gone up. The areas which are witnessing this surge should bring in restrictions and employ a “test, track, and treat” strategy to break the chain of transmission,”

Dr Guleria said – it is necessary to find out the reasons behind the increase in Covid-19 cases in Kerala

Speaking on Kerala, Dr Guleria said, “In the beginning, Kerala had set a precedent for others by managing the pandemic well. They also had an aggressive vaccination drive. Yet despite that, we are witnessing a spike differently from other parts of the country. This needs to be evaluated. Also, is there a variant behind the surge? Are containment strategies being aggressively followed – all this needs to be evaluated.”

On the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the delta variant is as contagious as measles and chickenpox, Dr Guleria said, “Measles or chickenpox used to have R factor of 8 or more, which means one person could infect eight others. That suggests that coronavirus is highly infectious. We saw that during the second wave in India because entire families were getting infected. This happens with chickenpox also. Similarly, when one person has Delta variant, the whole family is vulnerable.”

What is the status of infection in the country?

In India, 41,831 new cases of coronavirus infection were reported on the last day, and 541 patients died. With this, the total number of infected people in the country has gone up to 3,16,55,824. Out of these, 4,24,351 people have lost their lives. The number of active cases has increased for the fifth consecutive day to 4,10,952. Active cases have increased many times in the past, which is a matter of concern.

More than 10% test positivity rate in 46 districts

According to the central government, 46 districts in the country where the test positivity rate remains more than 10 per cent. Most of these districts are from Kerala and northeastern states, where cases are still increasing.

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