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Covid-19: Spread

An effective response to combat coronavirus will keep abreast with the pace at which the virus is transmitting.

Since its outbreak, the coronavirus has mutated and developed into even more potent strains, leaving redundant once-considered-robust measures such as vaccination. For instance, the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is more transmissible than its predecessors; it can evade the immune system and is also vaccine-resistant.

Hence, measuring the spread of the virus becomes essential in the fight against the pandemic.

Mar 24, 2022 | 9:52 IST

1 - How Covid-19 is spreading in India

First wave: The first case of the Covid-19 virus was detected in India in Thrissur, Kerala on January 30, 2020. As the cases continued to rise, the government was forced to impose a nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020. During the lockdown, the cases kept increasing and peaked at 90,000 cases per day in mid-September. In the next couple of months, the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted as the cases declined. By February 2021, the daily cases came down to 10,000.

Second wave: In March 2021, a catastrophic second wave gripped the country. The situation was aggravated by a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders and medicines. On April 9, India surpassed Brazil to become the second worst-hit country in the world. By April end, the country was reporting over 400,000 cases per day. The second wave, it is estimated, killed 2 lakh people.

The Omicron wave: The discovery of a new, more transmissible Omicron variant triggered the third weave in the country. However, the new variant caused less severe symptoms, evident from the low rate of hospitalisation. Consequently, compared with the catastrophic second wave, the number of deaths was also less.

How does coronavirus spread?
The Covid-19 disease spread when a person breathes in contaminated air. Normally, this happens when an uninfected person comes in close contact with a person infected with the Covid-19 virus. However, the virus can also be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors.
Can asymptomatic people transmit covid 19?
Most Covid-19 cases are spread by people without symptoms. A person is most likely to get infected from an asymptomatic patient than from a person who is suffering from a cold and cough.
How to control the transmission of covid 19?
The transmission of Covid-19 can be prevented by wearing a face mask in public indoor spaces, maintaining at least six feet of distance between yourself and others, avoiding large gatherings, socialising outdoors, getting vaccinated and boosted as soon as you are eligible, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces regularly and washing your hands often with soap and water.
Can Covid-19 be transmitted through food?
According to World Health Organisation, there is currently no evidence that people can catch Covid-19 from food. The virus that causes Covid-19 can be killed at temperatures similar to that of other known viruses and bacteria found in food.
How many covid variants are there in the world?
According to World Health Organisation, the highly infectious Omicron coronavirus variant causes less severe disease than the Delta strain but it remains a "dangerous virus", particularly for those who are unvaccinated, according to WHO.
What are the primary symptoms of covid 19?
Some of the main symptoms in a Covid 19 infected person are breathlessness, fever, dizziness, headache, dry cough. The virus can also result in a loss of smell and taste. A few cases have also reported diarrhoea and fatigue.
Data Source, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Our World in Data
Data and visualization by
Karn Bhushan, Ritvvij Parrik, Shankar Raghuraman, Shuja Asrar
Researched, written, and edited by
Areeba Falak, Shuja Asrar, Ritvvij Parrikh
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