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Gagandeep Kang On Why India Needs To Make Sure It Is Testing Enough For COVID-19

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Gagandeep Kang on COVID second wave: The onus is on individuals to control the spread of the deadly virus, according to Gagandeep Kang, a noted clinical scientist and the executive director of Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI). On Thursday, Kang showed concerns over the ways the country is trying to control the spread of the virus.

She said, “If we track the numbers right now, everything we are looking at is an upward trajectory in most places. What we should be watching out for is the test positivity rate which will be the first to show a decline and after that, we will begin to see a decline in hospitalisations and in the deaths being counted. So making sure that we are doing enough testing and tracking the numbers in a stable manner over time is what is going to give us a signal on how we are to do next.”

Kang, who has extensive experience in vaccine research, was talking about the rapidly rising COVID-19 cases in India and the vaccine shortage that many states are reporting. The first Indian woman scientist to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), London, noted that the government should make sure that they are doing enough testing first and tracking the numbers is also vital at this moment.

Here’s why we need to pay attention to what Kang is saying:

1. India has surpassed all previous records, with over two lakh cases of COVID-19 being reported in a day now. According to an NDTV report, this is the second straight day that the country is reporting over two lakh cases, taking the total tally to 1.42 crore according to the Union Health Ministry data.

2. A total of 1,185 people have died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

3. Several reports of shortages of hospital beds, oxygen, medicines and vaccine doses are doing rounds.

4. According to the latest report, hospitals are not admitting patients as they have run out of beds, families of patients said. Many even tagged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in their tweets and urged for immediate attention. “URGENT: NEED A HOSPITAL BED IN DELHI FOR MOTHER (AGED 60), SHE IS EXTREMELY WEAK AND WE’RE TRYING FOR A BED BUT NO LUCK. PLEASE HELP,” said a tweet posted by @Massey Erick.

Nishtha Sachdeva wrote, “URGENT: looking for a hospital bed for a senior citizen patient in #Delhi right now. The patient is my relative, and is very critical. #COVID19 @ArvindKejriwal @msisodia Anyone with leads Pls get in touch with me ASAP.”

5. “We have decided to add 70 more beds at the AIIMS Trauma Centre and 100 more beds at the National Cancer Institute, Jhajjar. I am sure we will be able to overcome the challenges before us due to surge in Covid-19 cases now,” Union health minister Harsh Vardhan noted.

6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is currently holding a meeting to ensure adequate supply of oxygen in hospitals.

7. Maharashtra, the worst-hit state in the country, reported 61,695 fresh coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 36,39,855, while the death count is at 59,153. The state is under a strict curfew till the end of April.

8. Meanwhile, the Karnataka government has ruled out the possibility of a lockdown while witnessing the highest single-day spike so far in the pandemic, with 14,738 new cases in the states. Of these, 10,497 are from Bengaluru. The state’s CM BS Yediyurappa was admitted to Ramaiah Memorial Hospital in Bengaluru as he had a fever for the last 2 days. Today her tested positive for the coronavirus.

9. In Delhi, the government has imposed a weekend curfew and has ordered shopping malls, gyms and spas to stay shut after it recorded the over 17,000 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. On Thursday, the capital saw 16,699 fresh cases.

10. The authorities have clearly stated that people should continue to wear masks. With a total of 15,69,743 active cases reported, the recovery rate has increased to 87.80 percent as of now, the data stated.