NEW DELHI: Government’s cluster containment strategy to tackle COVID-19 has yielded good results, and curbing the spread of the infection will become difficult if lockdown measures for social distancing are not followed, the Union government reiterated on Tuesday.
'The government is adopting a strategy for cluster containment, which is producing positive results, especially in Agra, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Pathanamthitta, Bhilwara and East Delhi,' said Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
He added that while 326 persons have been discharged after recovering from the infection, the country now has a total 4,421 confirmed novel coronavirus cases.
In the last 24 hours, 508 new cases have been reported and the death toll due to the infected has reached 124.
Citing a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research, Agarwal said one COVID 19 patient could potentially infect 406 people in 30 days if they don’t practice social distancing.
“If we follow the proper measures and social distancing, the infection rate can be cut down to just 2.5 people per patient in 30 days," he said, adding that R0 – the unit to measure the rate at which a person can infect others – is somewhere between 1.5 and 4.5.
The ICMR study has suggested an R0 for novel coronavirus at 2.5.
When asked about the extension of the nationwide lockdown, Agarwal said the government's decision would be conveyed very soon.
Agarwal also said the government was looking at strengthening dedicated hospitals for the treatment of COVID-19 cases and the strategy had been shared with the states.
Authorities also maintained that smart cities are ensuring collaborated efforts of district administration, district police and city administration to monitor the suspected cases of COVID-19.
Leveraging the smart infrastructure, Cities are developing predictive analytics using heat maps and taking action in monitoring the movements (using geofencing) as well as the periodic health status of suspected cases, said officials.
Pharmacists, under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendra , have also been made to deliver essential services and medicines at doorstep of patients and elderly, government added.