Without quarantine, a COVID-19 patient can infect 400: Health ministry
New Delhi: Nearly 70 per cent people affected with coronavirus either exhibit mild or very mild symptoms of the disease and may not require admission to dedicated hospitals, the Union health ministry on Tuesday said in a guidance document for management of COVID-19 cases.
Senior ministry official Lav Aggarwal, however, said a recent study by the ICMR - the nodal agency for battle against COVID-19 -- shows that if one patient who doesn't follow lockdown orders or practice social distancing, can infect 406 people in 30 days.
The government's comment came a week before the lockdown is scheduled to get over. But with COVID-19 numbers steadily rising, several states have requested the Centre for an extended lockdown. The Centre has indicated that it is observing the situation.
The government has also ordered states to take strict legal action against people violating the lockdown or quarantine, which carries a two-year jail term.
Since the announcement of lockdown to enforce social distancing, the Centre and the states have been making preparations to contain any possible outbreak of the disease which has affected more than a million people worldwide.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said his government has made arrangements for 3,000 beds and can even provide 8,000 if need be. Four hospitals in the national capital have been dedicated to COVID-19 patients.
The country so far has more than 4,200 total cases of coronavirus, but in absence of mass testing for the virus, there are concerns that there may be many asymptomatic people who are yet to be detected.
Kejriwal said from Friday, Delhi will begin mass testing and aims to test 1 lakh people with rapid testing kits.
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