Updated: August 12, 2021 9:46:04 am
While the reproductive value (R-value) of coronavirus has reached 1.3 in Punjab, the positivity rate remains 0.2 per cent holding out hope that a surge can still be prevented. R-value, which indicates how many persons one infected person can infect, is a cause of concern if it goes beyond 1.
Dr Rajesh Bhaskar, nodal officer for Covid-19 cases in Punjab, warned people against lowering their guard.
He said: “R value in a layman’s language shows how many persons one infected person can infect. If it is 1.3, hence one person can infect more than 1 person and hence the chain continues to move on. If this value is 1 or more than 1, it is a cause of concern as chances of infection spreading fast are there. R-value was 0.5 last week. However, at the same time, the positivity rate have been around 0.1 per cent in Punjab on an average for the past few days while in the peak period of the second wave it had reached 16 per cent and it was more than 20 per cent in few districts. We still are on the safer side, but we must continue following the precautions rather than lowering our guard.”
The Centre on Tuesday had said that while Covid-19 cases were “stabilising” across the country, the R value greater than 1, specifically from newer states, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is a “significant reason to be concerned”. In Punjab, the daily cases are increasing.
Dr Bishav Mohan, professor of cardiology in DMCH and member Covid taskforce, said: “When the positivity rate is less than 1 and R-value is more than 1, it signifies that cases will not multiply that fast.
However, we have got an alert about R-value which should be taken as a signal and hence people should continue following Covid appropriate behaviour. Crisis is not imminent but it is a warning for all of us to act well in advance. Hence, people should avoid large gatherings, should continue wearing masks and follow all Covid-19 guidelines as earlier.”
Talking about the cases being reported from schools, Dr Mohan said, “Children cannot be made to sit in their houses for long, but yes, they need to be called in smaller groups. I am sure the government has given them some guidelines to follow. It is too early to say that the third wave can impact children. We all need to follow precautions.”
He added, “R-value, positivity rate and vaccination, case fatality rate (CFR) are the factors which need to be taken care of to control the situation.”
However, it needs to be mentioned that residents in Punjab are freely enjoying public gatherings. Functions like Teej festival, festivals in colleges, religious programmes are happening like normal and people are hardly seen wearing masks or following social distancing norms. In addition to this, even most schools are being conducted for 6 hours including lunch break within the schools.”
The state’s industrial capital, meanwhile, has been reporting cases in double-digits for the last two days after a gap of two months. Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma on Wednesday said that the surge in Ludhiana is worrying.
On August 10, 17 patients had tested positive in Ludhiana, while on August 11 this number was double at 34. Addressing the Ludhiana residents in his weekly Facebook live, the DC said that with cases reported from two city schools everyone needed to be cautious.
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