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4.1 days doubling time for Coronavirus worrisome

Posted April 7th, 2020, 10:07 AM IST

4.1 days doubling time for Coronavirus worrisome

The doubling time for Coronavirus (Covid-19) in India is 4.1 days, far from the ideal 7.1 days, as more asymptomatic carriers are coming to hospitals with symptoms. The doubling time is calculated based on number of patients who come with symptoms and are confirmed for the disease.

Medical experts say that doubling time has increased as cluster cases have emerged in various parts of the country and are being reported now.

The Markaz organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin in New Delhi, orthopaedic doctor contacts in Nellore and Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai are examples of how there are groups of cases emerging from various parts of India.

Dr K.K. Aggarwal, president, Confederation of Medical Association of Asia and Oceania, said, “The ideal time where there are no clusters or groups doubling time is 7.1 days. Those places where clusters have originated, the doubling time is now 4.1 days.”

The rising number of cases across in India in different states is as anticipated by medical experts.

A senior doctor in Hyderabad explained, "The next two weeks will see rise in Covid-19 centers. After that, only governments can allow them to go to private hospitals for containment. This is as an expected scenario as finally more tests are being carried out and contact tracing is happening as per guidelines. This means sporadic cases with no contact history and severe respiratory distress will also come to hospitals. Two deaths in Osmania General Hospital and one case of immune compromised child in Niloufer Hospital are examples.”

The anti-body testing for healthcare workers, who are frontline carriers of virus, will give an indication of level of anti-body generated to fight virus and response of immune system towards it. While this is only going to be a sample, it will give an assessment of how those who are exposed to the virus and asymptomatic carriers are responding to the virus.

A senior doctor explained, “presently, we are taking throat swabs for suspected cases which is time consuming. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is now set to start blood tests and this will lead to more numbers of tests. But it will also give an idea of the spread. This will enable us to understand cluster spread in communities and mark those places where extensive methods of prevention and treatment can be carried out.”

The ICMR is taking data of all main sewage channels in city as they have to test presence of virus in sewage. Scientists have got in touch with doctors and officials of municipalities to take up these works.

Dr Mustufa Afzal, infectious disease specialist, explained, “Virus shedding is through droplets from mouth, besides urine and feces. This virus in sewage system is transmitted through mosquitoes and houseflies. We have to check on-load of virus in sewage system, which is a part of epidemiological process. These steps have to be taken to control the spread of the virus.”