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Coronavirus Outbreak: “COVID-19 Is Not Going To Disappear For Quite Sometime, Says AIIMS Chief Randeep Guleria

Dr Randeep Guleria, Chief of AIIMS and advisor to the government for the COVID-19 strategy talks to NDTV about the the ‘new normal’ OF having to live with coronavirus

Coronavirus Outbreak: “COVID-19 Is Not Going To Disappear For Quite Sometime, Says AIIMS Chief Randeep Guleria
Highlights
  • Cases are increasing instead of flattening which is concerning: AIIMS Chief
  • We are not at the stage of widespread community transmission: Dr Guleria
  • Learn to do our day-to-day activities with social distancing: Dr Guleria

New Delhi: The lockdown across the world, including India, has seen some relaxation in the restrictions imposed to control coronavirus this week. This makes experts fear the impact of the transmission of the diseases but at the same time they agree that the indefinite lockdown is not a sustainable option. Dr Randeep Guleria, Chief of AIIMS and advisor to the government for the COVID-19 strategy talked to NDTV about the status of the virus in India as well as the way ahead.

Why have we seen a sudden spike in cases and deaths particularly over the last couple of days, does it concern you?

Dr Randeep Guleria: There are two things here – one is that the number of cases continues to rise which is a cause of concern as it indicates that we have not reached the peak yet and the cases are not coming down. It can also be linked to the number of tests being conducted on a daily bases. We are at around 80,000 tests per day and will cross 1,00,000 tests per day by the end of the week. So, the cases will be up as the testing goes up. Having said that, I would’ve loved for the number cases to remain the same while the tests go up. But the numbers are increasing instead of flattening which is huge concern to me.

The data shows that the positivity rate is the same as it was a month ago, is that a silver lining?

Dr Randeep Guleria: That is an encouraging part, the positivity rate has remained from 4-4.5 per cent. so if you look at the number of people who are being tested and the number who are turning out to be positive, remained more or less the same. So like I said the number of cases rising may be related to the number of testing, rather than actual increase in the cases. Another interesting thing is that the areas from where we are getting the maximum number of cases are just a handful. The number of cases has actually declined or not showing a rising trend in a large part of the country.

Also Read: We Need A Plan To Ensure 100 Percent Coverage For The COVID-19 Vaccine, Experts Speak

Are we in community transmission?

Dr Randeep Guleria: if you look at a country of India’s level, I don’t think we are at the stage of widespread community transmission. Like I said before, the cause of concern remains the hotspots, if there are signs of community transmission and how could we prevent that. I don’t think we are at the community transmission at a national level but we need to be vary of the hotspots as we have a large number of clusters developing and we need to have a very aggressive lockdown, quarantine and social distancing in these areas.

Are you suggesting that the focus should be on the containment zones rather than larger areas and larger districts as we are slowly exiting the lockdown as well?

Dr Randeep Guleria: I think so. I think now we need to start micro-planning and look at these areas zone by zone, district by district and see how aggressively we can have a containment strategy and how we can avoid the cases going up. Each area might have to adopt a different strategy. Remember that we are a large country with each area having its own challenges be it economic, crowding or other factors. Therefore one size fits all may not work now and we might have to work on micro-planning now.

Also Read: Experts Weigh In On The Impact of India’s Lockdown 3.0 On The COVID-19 Curve

You’ve said that this will be a long challenge spanning at around a year, so what can we do to be safe and get to work?

Dr Randeep Guleria: This is very important, COVID-19 is not going to disappear for quite some time. We hope that with the vaccine coming out we may get a hold of the disease, but we will have to have a new normal. We will have to learn to do our day-to-day activities with social distancing. We all will have to go around wearing masks for sometime. Hand washing will be crucial. Even things like cough etiquettes and no spitting. This might definitely have effects on certain sectors of our economy and even the health sector would have to adapt to this new normal.

World

22,95,44,435Cases
19,20,52,504Active
3,27,83,741Recovered
47,08,190Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,95,44,435 and 47,08,190 have died; 19,20,52,504 are active cases and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 3:49 am.

India

3,35,31,498 26,964Cases
3,01,9897,586Active
3,27,83,741 34,167Recovered
4,45,768 383Deaths
In India, there are 3,35,31,498 confirmed cases including 4,45,768 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,01,989 and 3,27,83,741 have recovered as on September 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,27,629 3,131

44,269 960

63,44,744 4,021

1,38,616 70

Kerala

45,39,926 15,768

1,61,765 5,813

43,54,264 21,367

23,897 214

Karnataka

29,69,361 818

13,769 617

29,17,944 1,414

37,648 21

Tamil Nadu

26,48,688 1,647

16,993 9

25,96,316 1,619

35,379 19

Andhra Pradesh

20,40,708 1,179

13,905 483

20,12,714 1,651

14,089 11

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,693 13

194 0

16,86,612 13

22,887

West Bengal

15,62,710 537

7,741 69

15,36,291 592

18,678 14

Delhi

14,38,556 39

400 21

14,13,071 18

25,085

Odisha

10,21,216 462

4,844 103

10,08,226 560

8,146 5

Chhattisgarh

10,05,120 26

297 0

9,91,260 26

13,563

Rajasthan

9,54,275 12

99 8

9,45,222 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,751 14

133 0

8,15,536 14

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,410 8

90 6

7,81,803 14

10,517

Haryana

7,70,754 8

328 12

7,60,618 20

9,808

Bihar

7,25,907 6

60 9

7,16,188 15

9,659

Telangana

6,63,906 244

4,938 53

6,55,061 296

3,907 1

Punjab

6,01,359 36

304 3

5,84,554 37

16,501 2

Assam

5,98,864 441

5,081 97

5,87,970 338

5,813 6

Jharkhand

3,48,139 14

65 10

3,42,941 4

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,405 12

249 18

3,35,765 29

7,391 1

Jammu And Kashmir

3,28,214 145

1,450 11

3,22,345 154

4,419 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,17,403 263

1,715 99

2,12,033 162

3,655 2

Goa

1,75,690 107

886 76

1,71,507 29

3,297 2

Puducherry

1,25,618 101

922 55

1,22,864 46

1,832

Manipur

1,18,870 197

2,174 9

1,14,861 203

1,835 3

Tripura

83,956 51

353 7

82,794 44

809

Mizoram

82,815 1,355

15,363 223

67,184 1,127

268 5

Meghalaya

79,817 150

1,878 18

76,558 167

1,381 1

Chandigarh

65,195 7

44 3

64,333 4

818

Arunachal Pradesh

54,190 64

413 3

53,504 60

273 1

Sikkim

31,014 43

627 27

30,007 70

380

Nagaland

30,959 52

470 3

29,832 46

657 3

Ladakh

20,743 6

144 6

20,392

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

0 0

10,666

4

Lakshadweep

10,360 1

9 1

10,300

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,607 7

17 4

7,461 3

129

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