New Delhi: As India grapples with the threat of third COVID-19 wave, AIIMS Chief Dr Randeep Guleria has warned about the rising 'R-Value'. R-factor refers to the reproduction rate, i.e. the number of people contracting the virus by one infected person.
In an interview to NDTV, Guleria raised concerns about the R-value of coronavirus spiking and stressed on the need to ‘test, track and treat’ strategy in order to curb the spread. "Starting from .96, and going all the way up to 1, the rise in R-Value is a cause of concern. Simply put, this means that the chances of infection spreading from a person, who has Covid, to others have gone up. The areas which are witnessing this surge should bring in restrictions and employ "test, track, and treat" strategy to break the chain of transmission," he told the channel.
Guleria said the surge in COVID-19 infections in Kerala, which has been reporting more than 20,000 COVID-19 cases for the past few days, needs to be evaluated. "In the beginning, Kerala had set a precedent for others by managing the pandemic well. They also had an aggressive vaccination drive. Yet despite that, are witnessing a spike in a way that's different from other parts of the country. This needs to be evaluated. Also, is there a variant behind the surge? Are containment strategies being aggressively followed - all this needs to be evaluated," the AIIMS chief said.
Further, he suggested that neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should also ‘adopt aggressive testing strategy’ in order to stem the transmission of the virus. Both these states have made negative RT-PCR report mandatory for people travelling from Kerala.
Guleria’s remarks come as India logged 41,831 fresh infections in the last 24 hours, as per Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data on Sunday. The weekly positivity rate stands at 2.42%, the ministry added. On Friday, with 44,230 new COVID-19 cases, India recorded its highest single-day surge in three weeks.