Andhra Pradesh

Profile of COVID-19 spread worrying factor for officials

People on a bike pass by a painting depicting the coronavirus on a main road in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.

People on a bike pass by a painting depicting the coronavirus on a main road in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: S. RAMBABU

The health department is on its toes after the district recorded over 8,800 new COVID-19 positive cases in the last seven weeks. Of the total cases, 80% are from GVMC limits.

However, more than the numbers, what is worrying officials is the profile of the spread of the virus. Initially, during the first week of June, when the Unlock 1.0 process was initiated, and till June 30, the spread was restricted to a few clusters such as Anakapalle, Dandu Bazaar, Appughar and Peda Jalaripeta. But now, the spread is uniform across the city, and it is now moving to suburban areas as well, said District COVID-19 Special Officer and principal of Andhra Medical College P.V. Sudhakar.

Of the 8,971 cases recorded till Wednesday night, around 1,200 are from areas such as Appughar, Pedajalaripeta, Dandu Bazaar, Anakapalle and Jodugulapalem, while the rest are spread across the district, with GVMC taking the major share, said officials from the health department.

This indicates that a community spread of the virus has begun and as per ICMR research, it is yet to reach its peak.

Clusters

The increase in the number of clusters or containment zones from 35 to 674 within two months is indicative of the range of the spread of COVID-19 in the district. Of the 674 clusters, 112 are very active clusters and 240 are active clusters while 322 are dormant clusters.

“But it has been a long time that the number of de-notified clusters, which are 39, has not changed or increased in the last one month. This indicates that every day, a couple of new cases are being detected from the existing clusters, apart from new cases from newer areas,” said Dr. Sudhakar.

A cluster becomes de-notified when no positive case is recorded from there for a period of two weeks.

Maintaining protocol

Both the district administration and health officials expressed dismay over the flouting of basic protocols.

“Despite the spike and the present condition being volatile, the rush at the markets in connection with Varalakshmi Vratam is alarming. It is surprising to see even educated people forgetting the basic norms of wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing. We are worried about another massive spurt in numbers after the festival,” Dr. Sudhakar said.

Senior officials from the health department pointed out that many people are not wearing the correct type of mask or following the protocol of wearing and removing them.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 7:50:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/profile-of-covid-19-spread-worrying-factor-for-officials/article32234467.ece

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