Andhra Pradesh

Community transmission threat looms over Tirupati

With 36 of the 50 wards in Tirupati getting the ‘COVID-19 containment zone’ tag, fear gripped the denizens about the possibility of the temple city inching towards community transmission. Even medical administrators suggest that it is bound to happen slowly.

Mortality rate

As the coronavirus sweeps across several States, the number of cases is consistently on the rise in Andhra Pradesh. The mortality rate is just 3.3% and the recovery rate is thankfully improving.

Lockdown rumours

The recent announcement by Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) Commissioner P.S. Gireesha on the likelihood of going for a second round of lockdown has given enough indication on the seriousness of the situation.

The proposal has been forwarded to District Collector Bharat N. Gupta, who is expected to take a call any time on the issue, in consultation with the State government.

Though another round of lockdown is not expected to control the rise of the pandemic, but experts concur that it can actually slow down the spread of the virus and prevent mortality.

“COVID-19 cases witnessed a quantum jump in Tirupati, first when the liquor outlets were opened, and then after Tirumala temple was opened for public. The TTD took samples from the visiting pilgrims, but did not reveal the results. The officials should divulge the details so as to assess the likely spread,” demands Congress spokesperson P. Naveen Kumar Reddy.

“The infection is asymptomatic in 70% of cases. Only 15% are moderate, 10% severe and only 5% are very severe in nature. Only the last two categories may lead to death,” says G. Ravi Prabhu, head of Community Medicine at Sri Venkateswara Medical College. The department is holding a series of meetings on how to tackle the situation.

Best strategy

Though ‘Favipiravir’, ‘Remdesevir’ injection and plasma therapy appear to be promising in future, Dr. Ravi Prabhu still bets on prevention through physical distancing, wearing mask and hand hygiene.

“As of now, this is the best strategy in the absence of consistent and reliable supply of drugs,” Dr. Prabhu added.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 4:51:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/community-transmission-threat-looms-over-temple-city/article31900734.ece

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