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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

51% patients contracted infection at home in July

Naina Mishra

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 27

Around 51 per cent patients, who were diagnosed with Covid-19 in July, had contracted the infection from their family contacts.

Of the 406 patients who tested positive between July 1 and July 25, nearly 208 are family contacts of the previously diagnosed cases in the same house. In some cases, seven members of a family had tested positive.

An analysis of the media bulletins during this period revealed that the contact history of around 32 per cent (133) patients was not known, whereas 17 per cent patients had contracted the infection from workplace, known contacts, community contacts and had a travel history.

A similar pattern was observed by the South Korean epidemiologists, who have found in the study published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that people were more likely to contract the virus from their household members than from contacts outside home.

A UT health official said, "You are more likely to get infection from your family contacts as an asymptomatic family member may not know about the disease. He/she may be mingling with his/her family members and passing on the infection to them."

"According to the ICMR guidelines, the asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case are required to be tested once between Day 5 and Day 10 of coming into contact. We are tracking the cases and rigorously testing them," the official said. UT Adviser Manoj Parida said, "The emphasis could be on making the residents aware about the importance of social distancing through IEC and campaigns."

Home isolation doubtful

Dr Sonu Goel, a community health expert at the PGIMER, said, "The reasons for more number of patients contracting the infection at home can be possibly due to cases opting for home isolation. Family is the close set up where we don't follow masking or social distancing and stay close to each other. Hence, there is a possibility of more spread among them. The patients need to practice social distancing and follow guidelines strictly. "

According to the Union Health Ministry guidelines, very mild and pre-symptomatic Covid-19 cases are allowed home isolation, given that they have requisite facility at their residence for self-isolation and also for quarantining the family contacts. The patient should stay in a separate room, away from other people at home and should wear a triple-layered medical mask at all times.

from The Tribune

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