Admn flags ‘superspreaders’ to contain effect of possible second wave

Pune: To tackle the possible second wave of Covid expected in January or February as seen in western countries, the administration has taken measures to minimise the effect of infection.

The administration has identified “superspreaders”, residents who daily come in contact with a large number of people for commercial activities or government services and could spread the infection in case they turn positive.

Divisional commissioner Saurabh Rao said, “We have started our preparations to fight the possible second wave and have prepared a ‘strategy paper’ that covers multiple aspects. There are studies that prove that people who come in contact with multiple people will play an important role during the ‘second wave’.”

The “superspreaders” include small shopkeepers like grocery, vegetable vendors, hawkers and hotel workers; service providers namely newspaper vendors, milkmen, maids, gas cylinder suppliers, electricians, plumbers, laundry staff and cooks; truck, tempo and rickshaw drivers; labourers, painters, masons, head loaders, drivers and conductors in public transport, security guards in housing societies and essential service providers in government and semi-government establishments, including police personnel and guards.

The paper states that these people must be surveyed and tested as a “community” which will be crucial in controlling the spread of the infection for which the administration must chalk a thorough plan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that only if the positivity rate of an infection is below 5% then it could be said that the infection is under control. Currently, the positivity rate is around 9.94% which was around 24.60% in September which indicates that the spread is still not under control, says the study.

The paper has been prepared after a detailed meeting by the doctors from BJ Medical College, City Covid-19 task force, representatives from National Institute of Virology (NIV) and state government and city administration officials.

The paper states that after observing the number of Covid cases in western countries like Spain, England and Italy, once the number of cases reach about 500-1,000 per million population the situation remains the same for around 60-90 days and then the number of cases start rising. The same trend has been observed in case of swine flu too. In addition, the meteorological department has predicted a cold wave in northern India and also with the festive season, the second wave in the country is expected to be around January or February.

Covid-19 appropriate behaviours

No cracker Diwali: As heavy air pollution caused by firecrackers could lead to breathing troubles among people with respiratory ailments, it would be advisable if the government issues an order banning firecrackers this year.

Compulsory use of mask

Regularly washing hands, feet and face

Social distancing

Greetings as per Indian culture (Namaste) instead of a handshake

No spitting or smoking in public places

Avoid unnecessary travel

No social boycott of Covid patients or their family members

Do not spread rumours or wrong messages using social media platforms

Get information only from credible sources

To avoid mental stress, continue talking to friends and relatives while following the above mentioned norms and seek expert advice if need be.

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