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Home quarantine may reduce coronavirus transmission risk by 62 pc: ICMR

NEW DELHI: As the country grapples with the rising menace of coronavirus, a study done by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that home quarantine and maintaining social distancing of symptomatic can flatten the curve of the disease outbreak.

The study was done by using a simple mathematical model of infectious disease transmission. The findings pointed out that home quarantine of symptomatic can reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62 per cent and the peak number of cases by 89 per cent.

Based on the initial understanding of the spread of COVID-19 infection, ICMR has suggested that the entry screening of travelers with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 can delay the introduction of the virus into the community by three days to three weeks.

ICMR scientists like Manoj Murhekar, Raman R. Gangakhedkar, Swarup Sarkar among others are involved in the study.

According to the ICMR experts, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has raised urgent questions about containment and mitigation, particularly in countries where the virus has not yet established human-to human transmission.

“Hence, the objective of the study was to find out if it was possible to prevent, or delay, the local outbreaks of COVID-19 through restrictions on travel from abroad and if the virus has already established in-country transmission, to what extent would its impact be mitigated through quarantine of symptomatic patients?” said experts.

“We found that strictly implementing social distancing measures such as home quarantine of symptomatics and suspected cases will reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62 per cent and the peak number of cases by 89 per cent, thus ‘flattening’ the curve and providing more opportunities to us for interventions,” stated the findings.

“Once the virus establishes transmission within the community, quarantine of the symptomatic may have a meaningful impact on disease burden. These model projections are subject to substantial uncertainty. It can be further refined to understand more about the natural history of infection of this novel virus and at which rate the virus transmits among susceptible individuals.”

Meanwhile, total number of coronavirus positive cases rise to 471 in India including nine deaths, the ICMR said.