With the festival session of Navaratri and Durga Puja is around the corner, ardent devotees are waiting with bated breath to welcome Mother Goddess Durga from the heavenly abode and to celebrate the joyous festival. While celebrations are usually held with fervour and joy, this year might see subdued festivities due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Experts opine that, with upcoming festivals, super spreading individuals, events, and venues will encourage mass gatherings in the city and it will pose a challenge to the containment strategies of public health officials. Also, with further ease of restrictions as a part of unlock 5.0 guidelines coinciding with the festive session, will pave the way for super spreading events in urban centres of the state, public health officials fear.
Considerable Covid-19 restrictions since the past six months have made the general public restless and desperate to venture out. As a result, there is a rush to visit places like tourist places and other famous places in and around Vizag, which have the potential to become super-spreading venues. In this background, the State public health department has already sounded an alarm with respect to the RK Beach and Rushikonda region.
Senior physicians in Vizag have said that there are adequate studies indicating superspreaders as being a major reason for the non-stop Covid-19 infections in the country. For the first time in the country, Covid-19 study in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, highlighting the role of super-spreaders in the outbreak was published in the reputed journal Science.
The notable study, which was based on tracing three million contacts in TN and AP in August, indicated that a particular set or group of patients amounting to about 8 per cent of COVID positive cases in India caused almost 60 per cent of the new infections. Ramanan Laxminarayan, Director for Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy in Washington, USA, who led the study said that we identified the high prevalence of infection among children who were contacts of cases around their own age.
The closure of schools and other non-pharmaceutical interventions during the study period may have contributed to reductions in contact among children. Nevertheless, our analyses suggest social interactions among children may be conducive to transmission in this setting, “the study said.
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