Preventing the spread of the corona virus from urban to rural areas where the majority of the population lives will be key in the country’s battle against COVID-19, a leading health expert said on Friday. When people begin to return to their normal lives, they must continue to practice keeping social distance, wearing face masks and hand hygiene to resist their spread, said the President of the Indian Public Health Foundation, Prof. K Srinath Reddy.
“One of the important things is to try and reduce as much traffic flow as possible between urban and rural areas,
between hotspots and non-hotspots, at least until the hotspots are controlled because rural areas are far protected even now in any state, he said.
PHFI is involved in developing public health capacity in the country through education, training, research, policy
development, health communication and advocacy. There is little chance of spread in rural areas because people there are generally lacking in mobility, Reddy, who previously headed the Department of Cardiology in All India
Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told PTI in an interview.
By limiting traffic to important items and travel needs, we will be able to hold it back because it is our biggest asset, two-thirds of our population is in rural areas, if we protect it, we will be far safer, he said.
The death toll from COVID-19 rose to 1,886 and the number of cases rose to 56,342 in the country on Friday, recording an increase of 103 deaths and 3,390 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health of the Union.
As you increase the number of tests, you will definitely find more cases. We have to look at the number of new cases, as a percentage of the number of tests conducted. That is a figure that must be seen, said Reddy.
It is true that the number of cases detected will increase as the number of tests and viruses is likely to spread, said Reddy, who has been involved in several international and national research studies, which have
trained in cardiology and epidemiology. “But what we need to see is how severe the case is.
Eighty-five percent are very mild, or without symptoms, so we might not need to worry too much, because eventually the virus will spread, we cannot suddenly catch the virus, but the question is how fast it spreads and how severe the cases are. affected, Reddy said.
He said the COVID-19 mortality rate in India so far is 1.3 per million population, while it is far higher in others
countries such as the US (26 deaths per million), United Kingdom (449 per million) and Belgium (726 per million). That means even if its spread is much lighter in India for whatever reason, he said. So, we have to be on guard but we don’t need to panic, said Reddy, who currently serves as an Additional Epidemiology Professor at Harvard and is also an Additional Professor of Rollins Community Health School, Emory University and Honorary Professor of Medicine at Sydney University.
Asked how India managed to keep the COVID-19 death rate low, Reddy, who obtained an M.Sc. (Epidemiology) from McMaster University (Hamilton, Canada), states that this country has a much younger population. .and maybe there are other protective factors. HCG vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) is protective or other things are protective, we don’t know, that’s also possible. Because we have been exposed to many infections, our innate immunity may be better. All of this might be important.
“Does the temperature also make the virus less virulent, we don’t know. All of this is speculative, (but) maybe but we don’t have clear evidence. But age is one of the most important elements in our population. We have a much younger population, he added.
To some health experts who suggest that COVID-19 cases tend to peak in India in June-July, Reddy says: We do
do not know because the idea is that in June-July, due to a combination of high temperature and high humidity, other coronoviruses become less active. “If this coronavirus (COVID-19) also behaves like that, it might start to subside but then” we have to wait for winter to see if it goes up again, so we have to wait and see. At the moment, we have no certainty, he added.
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