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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • As per Lancet, lab data shows that for SARS-CoV-2, Ct values of 29·3 (steel surface) or 29·5 (plastic surface) correlate with the detection of culturable virus,
  • Whereas Ct values of 32·5 (steel surface) or 32·7 (plastic surface) correlate with the detection of non-culturable virus.
  • Despite Bhubaneswar topping the country in proportion (24%) of population fully vaccinated, it is contributing around 20 per cent of the State's new cases and active caseload.

 Alarmed by a rise in R0 (rate of transmission) value in many districts, the Odisha government has pressed the pause button on complete unlock in the State. While extending the partial lockdown across the State till August 1, State Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra has disclosed something very big.

"As per the case studies conducted in State Capital Bhubaneswar, a significant chunk of fully vaccinated individuals have been detected positive. And the big concern is they can spread the virus to others," Mahapatra cautioned.

Why Point Of Concern?

The observation assumes significance. Because, as per LANCET and NCBI studies, the SARS-CoV-2 can only be transmitted from a person to another when the Ct (cycle threshold) value remains high.

"Laboratory data shows that for SARS-CoV-2, Ct values of 29·3 (steel surface) or 29·5 (plastic surface) correlate with the detection of culturable virus, whereas Ct values of 32·5 (steel surface) or 32·7 (plastic surface) correlate with the detection of non-culturable virus," the Lancet study concludes.

The point of concern, therefore, is vaccinated individuals cannot brace up with the severity of the disease, but they have enough viral load (as suggested by Ct value of 29 or less) to become a super spreader. This heightens the risk of Covid-19 transmission in the State.

Bhubaneswar's Live Lesson

Despite topping the country in the indicator of proportion (24%) of the population fully vaccinated, the city is contributing around 20 per cent of the State burden in new cases and active caseload. The major epidemiological indicators of concern are given below.

  • The gap between daily confirmed new cases and recovered has been narrowing down in July.
  • The R0 value remained above 1 (1.03), 72 hours after the relaxations were announced on June 16. The value is now at around 0.99.
  • The most crucial observation is: the number of daily new cases in the city has hit a plateau after a consistent downslope.
  • From June 21 to July 14, the graph remained static. The daily new cases detected on June 21 stood at 246. With fluctuations thereafter, the daily caseload on July 14 was 327.
  • The State Capital now accounts for nearly 16 per cent of total Covid-19 deaths in the State.
  • As per CS Suresh Mahapatra's disclosure today, infection among many fully vaccinated individuals has been detected. Moreover, even as the disease progression among them is mild, the worry is they can be potential super spreaders.

The Action

  • In the given backdrop, therefore, the key strategy in the Odisha government's new unlock guidelines announced today has been to minimise crowd gathering (both outdoor and indoor), only to keep a tab on the rising R0 (rate of transmission) in the State. And in furtherance of its avowed plan of action, the State has continued night curfew across the State and weekend shutdown in category B districts.

 

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