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Why you should treat every individual you meet as an asymptomatic COVID carrier

Why you should treat every individual you meet as an asymptomatic COVID carrier

As India recorded the highest-ever spike in
coronavirus cases (77,266) yesterday, it should be enough to reinstate that we are still in the thick of the pandemic. For three days consecutive days, the country has registered more than 1,000 deaths related to coronavirus. Even with an estimated recovery rate of 76.28 per cent, India still remains the third worst-hit nation in the world by the coronavirus pandemic with a total count of 33,87,500 COVID-19 cases. These figures are a grim reminder that even after strict social distancing measures and lockdown implementation, countries are still struggling to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In the absence of a drug or a vaccine to eradicate the highly infectious disease, the onus of slowing down the spread of COVID-19 lies with the society at large. The first step of which is to understand that even if the lockdown restrictions are being lifted, the pandemic is far from over. As the SARS-CoV-2 continues to wreak havoc across the world, we are underling why it is extremely important that you treat EVERY individual you meet as an asymptomatic carrier of the coronavirus infection.

What exactly do we mean by an asymptomatic COVID carrier


According to the World Health Organization, an
asymptomatic COVID carrier is a laboratory-confirmed case who gets infected with COVID-19 but does not develop any symptoms of the disease. It should be noted that the novel coronavirus affects different people differently and most of them develop mild to moderate symptoms of the disease.

Recent studies have pointed out that asymptomatic people (those who do not exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19) could be one of the reasons behind the exponential rate at which the disease is spreading across the world. As per a report published in The Print, over 80 per cent coronavirus patients in India are symptomatic states an internal analysis by the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). This shockingly high rate of asymptomatic COVID cases in India underlines the fact that asymptomatic patients may play a huge role in driving the pandemic.

Even though, there are more than 165 plus vaccine candidates in different stages of trials, as of now there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus. This is why it becomes all the important to be mindful of our daily actions to help in curbing the spread of the highly contagious infection. We are listing down three reasons you must treat every person you meet as an asymptomatic COVID carrier.

1.COVID is not going to disappear magically


Every day there are new statistics and reports about what percentage of the population may have already gained immunity against the virus by developing protective antibodies and how the mutating of the virus may make it more infectious but less deadly. We need to take all these emerging reports with a pinch of salt cause the truth is we are still learning about the novel contagion. If there is one thing, which is amply clear right now is the fact that we are NOWHERE near achieving
herd immunity as about 70 per cent of the world’s population will have to get infected to achieve the same.

2. A vaccine for COVID-19 is still at least 6 to 8 months away

Even though there are more than 30 potential vaccines in the crucial human trials phase, it is highly unlikely that a vaccine fit for human use will be in public circulation by the end of 2020. Remember, developing a vaccine is just the first part of large-scale inoculation and it is still a long way from here. After a vaccine is given the regulatory approvals, the logistics of mass-immunisation and ramping up the production still need to be figured out for people across the world. In the absence of an effective vaccine, social distancing measures and practising respiratory hygiene is extremely important.

3. We will have to live with THIS new normal

Most importantly, the show must go on. Even though you should avoid stepping out as much as possible, certain offices are opening up and there are talks of opening of educational institutes as well. Ultimately, we need to learn to “live with the virus” at least for now, by taking safety precautions and not being complacent.

The bottom line

While wearing face masks before stepping out is non-negotiable, make sure to carry hand sanitizer, wherever you go. Do not touch the outer surface of the mask and consider it contaminated, especially if you have been around other people. Do not go around touching random objects, frequently sanitize your hands and most of all, treat every individual you meet as a COVID carrier.

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