Coronavirus grew to become a pandemic because of its R-value, which is the virus's 'effective reproduction number.' This number measures an infectious disease's capacity to spread. COVID-19's high R-value means it is highly infectious and is the biggest factor in it becoming a pandemic.
Since there's no vaccine or a drug to counter COVID-19 in the foreseeable future, one question on everyone's mind is this - what measures should people take when they want to return to their normal routines. In an interview to BOOM, Dr Ambarish Satwik, vascular and endovascular surgeon at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital talks about how susceptible people are to COVID-19 and what precautions to take if the lockdown lifts on 31st May or if restrictions are eased.
Are we likely to get infected if we go out? Dr Satwik says, "In the absence of a vaccine, and the absence of a drug, the only way out of this is if we acquire a herd immunity. For that, the majority of people need to be infected. Herd immunity is not real immunity. You acquire immunity when you are infected and recover. But with herd immunity, one scenario is that a significant majority is vaccinated. But in this case, it means that if a majority in a community is infected, and there is a minority that is not exposed to the virus. Now when a new individual gets infected, the virus will encounter immune individuals who have been previously infected and act as a barrier for the virus. So there is a high statistical probability that the virus is not going to find another host and wither away thanks to the previously infected herd."
Dr Ambarish Satwik advises that one should be careful before re-starting their daily routines like going to their offices, because "When you start offices you have the highest chance of acquiring the infection from what is called intramural transmission. A closed office environment with lots of people increases the chances of transmission."
But how does one live with the pandemic? Dr Ambarish Satwik says, "We have to to go about our lives, but we have to be alert about not getting the virus. Now that lockdown will be eased, people will start commuting, public transportation will restart, the chances of dissemination of the virus increase, especially since we are on the ascended arm of the curve. So we can't be complacent."
Watch the full interview on YouTube.
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