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Clusters that could turn into COVID-19 hotspots need to be identified: Sowmya Swaminathan

With a huge population in a country like India, she said, one has to go after the virus in order to control its spread before it becomes a community transmission.

Published: 17th October 2020 07:22 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th October 2020 07:22 PM   |  A+A-

World Health Organisation's Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan

World Health Organisation's Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan (Photo | Twitter)

By PTI

CHENNAI: World Health Organisation Chief Scientist Sowmya Swaminathan on Saturday said clusters and large gatherings which have the potential of spreading COVID-19 need to be identified and suggested continuous testing of samples by the government.

With a huge population in a country like India, she said, one has to go after the virus in order to control its spread before it becomes a community transmission.

"When we look at countries that have succeeded (in controlling the spread of virus) we have to go after the virus where it is present. Then it is easier (to prevent the spread of virus) than it becomes a community transmission," she said.

Swaminathan was speaking at a conference 'SICCI 360' organised by trade body Southern Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).

She said even in Tamil Nadu there was a phase when things were looking 'bad' and the government was wondering what needs to be done.

"The test positivity rate is a very important marker and India has done well. (But) We could do more. The test positivity rate in Tamil Nadu which was 15 per cent has now become less than five per cent", she said.

Swaminathan said testing of samples should be continued while clusters which could turn into COVID-19 'hotspots' need to be identified.

"In Chennai like the Koyambedu cluster, there are few other clusters as well as religious gatherings. Those are things (that) need to be identified so that we can take more precautions," she added.



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