Have to learn to live with Covid-19: Govt | India News

NEW DELHI: The health ministry on Friday said Indians would have to learn to live with coronavirus, indicating there might be no early tapering off of the disease and would require an adjustment to a new normal of social distancing and sanitation that could become part of everyday life for some time to come.
Responding to questions over the trajectory of the Covid-19 curve in the context of AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria’s comment that there could be a peak in June-July, Union health ministry spokesperson Lav Agarwal said community support was needed to fight the infection and to manage it at the current levels.
“When we are talking of relaxations and migrant workers coming back, we are faced with a major challenge. We have to learn to live with the virus, and for that we need to introduce certain behavioural changes, to implement social distancing practices to combat this virus. It is a difficult battle and we need everyone’s cooperation and community support,” Agarwal said.
The official’s remarks pointed to a long drawn battle where pre-lockdown normalcy might not be feasible for some time. Rather, the possibility of containment strategies being a regular feature as the infection waxes and wanes, or erupts due to local outbreaks even if the curve flattens, seems to be a likely scenario with public and private interactions adjusting to the new rules of engagement.
At the same time, the comments can be seen as an effort to “normalise” life to the best possible extent with many parts of the country showing improvement. In 216 districts, no positive case has been detected. In 42 districts, no new case has been reported in the last 28 days, while 29 districts have had none in 21 days. Besides, 36 districts have not reported any case for 14 days and 46 none for the last seven days, Agarwal said.
As many as 3,390 new positive cases and 103 deaths were reported from across the country in the last 24 hours, taking the total Covid-19 cases in India to 56,342. Of this, 37,916 are active while 1,886 people have died, according to the ministry’s data.
The comments came in the wake of worsening of the doubling rate over the last one week from 12 days to 10, led by a sharp rise in positive cases in some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat and Delhi where the Centre has pointed out major gaps in containment measures and contact tracing. Similarly, there has been a catch up in the count in West Bengal.
Highlighting that collective effort was required to stop spread of infectious diseases, Agarwal said the disease moved in a certain way even if one state failed to implement 100% of containment measures and this impacted the national graph.
The recovery rate from the disease has improved to 29.36%, as compared to around 13% in the middle of April.
Data also showed less severity of the disease with 3.2% of the total active cases on oxygen support, 4.2% in ICUs and 1.1% on ventilator support.
Responding to a query on when India was likely to see a peak in Covid-19 cases, Agarwal said, “If we follow the required dos and don’ts, we may not reach the peak in number of cases and our curve may continue to remain flat.”

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