Early measures reason for fewer cases in India: WHO regional director – india news
India has had fewer cases than it might have because of early and aggressive action to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, World Health Organization (WHO) South East Asia Region, told Hindustan Times in an interview.
How should lockdowns be lifted?
Lockdowns must be lifted slowly, when six criteria are fulfilled: transmission is controlled; health system capacities are in place to detect, test, isolate, treat cases and trace contacts; outbreak risks are minimised; preventive measures are implemented; importation risks can be managed; and communities are fully educated and empowered to adjust to the new norm.
How do you rate India’s efforts to slow transmission?
So far, the numbers in India are far fewer compared to other countries, which can be attributed to early and aggressive measures. The topmost leadership is driving a whole-of-government and whole-of-society response to the pandemic.
How does WHO define community transmission?
Community transmission is confirmed when the source of infection is not clear. But whatever the stage, the key actions remain: engage with people; find, isolate, test and treat cases and trace every contact; ready hospitals; and protect and train health workers.
Is it pool testing an effective public health tool?
WHO is aware the Indian Council of Medical Research is going ahead with pool testing in some states, especially in the non-hotspot areas. While WHO is working on bringing out comprehensive guidelines, we welcome measures to scale up testing.
Given the shortage of kits, how can testing be scaled up?
Good laboratory practices that produce accurate results are key.
The availability of timely and accurate results can be threatened when testing demands outstrip capacity, such as when there is a backlog for testing and it is no longer possible to turn around results within 24 to 48 hours; the demand for laboratory reagents exceeds capacity for supply; staff are exhausted; the number of incoming samples exceeds the capacity for safe pretesting storage; critical staff become infected; or laboratory instruments can no longer be serviced or properly maintained.
Some of these constraints can be overcome by a proper risk assessment.
Does warm and humid weather slow Sars-CoV2 transmission?
There is no evidence yet that the virus would not survive in high temperature.