Social distancing can reduce India's cases by up to 62%, says ICMR study

Social distancing can reduce India's cases by up to 62%, says ICMR study

If Indians can do just one thing to help the country reduce the overall number of novel coronavirus cases by up to 62 per cent, that one thing would be: SOCIAL DISTANCING.

The World Health Organisation has repeatedly stressed upon the importance of social distancing and experts after experts have appealed to people to strictly adopt it in their lives. In the medical fraternity, there are no two views that this - social distancing - is our best chance to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus, which has wreaked havoc the world over.

In the latest, a study by experts at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has estimated that India may be able to reduce its Covid-19 cases by 62 per cent if social distancing and quarantines are strictly observed. The key to preventing the viral infection from spreading is imposing restrictions on the movement of people and keeping them from coming in contact with those who have contracted the disease or are showing its symptoms.

"Strictly implemented social distancing measures such as home quarantine of symptomatics (those showing symptoms) and suspected cases will reduce the overall expected number of Covid-19 cases by 62 per cent (in India), thus flattening the curve and providing more opportunities for interventions," the ICMR study says.

The study was conducted weeks before Covid-19 turned into a global pandemic and has devised mathematical models to give an estimate of the difference early intervention can make in preventing the disease from spreading in India.

The study has predicted the trends of Covid-19 transmission for four Indian cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. These cities were chosen because they have a higher number of international arrivals than others.

So far, research on novel coronavirus has revealed that the reproducing number (Ro) -- the average number of people who are likely to be infected by an infected person -- for Covid-19 ranges between 1.5 and 4.9.