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‘Lockdown areas with over 10% positivity’: AIIMS chief

NEW DELHI, APR 24 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/24/2021 1:20:44 PM IST

Areas with Covid positivity rates over 10 per cent must be locked down, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria told NDTV on Saturday, as the government scrambles to contain a deadly second wave that has triggered an oxygen crisis in Delhi and left India’s medical infrastructure near collapse.

Dr Guleria said the country’s healthcare system was paying the price for the government’s failure to anticipate the spread of infections via more aggressive variants of the virus and flagged the urgent need to break the chain of transmission and reduce the skyrocketing active caseload.

“To my mind we need a two-pronged attack. One - urgently work on improving healthcare infrastructure - whether hospital beds, medication or oxygen. Second - decrease the number of cases. We simply cannot continue to have such a large number of active cases...,” Dr Guleria said.

“To do this we need to look at areas with high infectivity (positivity) rates... if it is high then we need to have containment zones, even lockdown, so the chain of transmission is broken and the number of cases falls,” he explained.

“The healthcare system is paying the price for the rise in infections... saving lives is important, but we have to break the chain of transmission and bring the cases down,” he stressed.

“We did not anticipate the rapid surge. The first wave was slower... we had time to increase everything - hospital beds, medication. This time we were caught unawares but we should have been more cautious,” Dr Guleria said.

 

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