AIIMS chief amid second wave

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday said that a strict lockdown should be imposed in areas where the Covid-19 case positivity rate is over 10% or the bed occupancy is above 60%.

“There is a need to impose strict regional lockdowns in areas where the Covid-19 case positivity rate is over 10% or the bed occupancy is above 60% to break the chain of transmission. The Covid-19 task force has also been advising for the same,” Guleria said.

The AIIMS Director stressed that clamping such restrictions all over the nation cannot be a solution, keeping in mind people’s livelihood.

However, Guleria also rejected the strategy of imposing night curfews and weekend lockdowns that some states have imposed to bring down the Covid-19 cases, saying “these would not have much of an impact on the transmission cycle”.

Speaking with news agency PTI, he said, “It is there in the guidelines of the home ministry, but it is not being strictly implemented.”

He said there should be a gradual, graded unlocking in such areas once the positivity rate reduces.

However, he stressed that there should be restrictions on people travelling from areas that have a high positivity rate to places with a low positivity rate to curb the spread of the infection.

AIIMS Director on nationwide lockdown

On his views about a nationwide lockdown, Guleria said, “A complete national lockdown cannot be a solution, keeping in mind people’s livelihoods and the impact it will have on daily wage labourers. Day-to-day activities in areas with a low positivity rate should be allowed with restrictions.”

Aggressive containment measures have to be put in place for a sufficient period of time as no healthcare infrastructure can manage this kind of a caseload, he stated.

Guleria’s remarks come in the backdrop of the country facing a serious COVID-19 crisis with a spike in the numbers of cases and deaths, and hospitals running out of oxygen and beds.

India’s total Covid-19 cases crossed the 2-crore mark with over 3.57 lakh new infections. Around 3,449 more people died of the infection, pushing the total fatalities to 2,22,408. The deadly second wave of Covid-19 has caused havoc in India’s healthcare system.

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