Superspreader events like weddings might have led to the recent resurgence of Covid-19 cases in India, a preliminary assessment by the Union government suggests adding that people were found becoming less careful in the recent months when the daily cases were low.
"That (role of superspreader events) is what it looks like, as people have become lax in their behaviour. We must understand that there is still a large section of population that is vulnerable, especially in villages. We cannot afford to lower our guard at this stage, and should avoid mass gatherings as it can become superspreading events," Dr VK Paul, member (health), Niti Aayog reportedly said, according to Hindustan Times.
India on Friday recorded around 40,000 new coronavirus infections, the highest single day rise recorded so far this year, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally of cases to 1,15,14,331, according to Union Health Ministry data.
The daily rise in infections (39,726) was the highest recorded in 110 days, while the death toll increased to 1,59,370 with 154 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Dr Paul said that testing, especially RT-PCR testing needs to be increased in districts reporting high positivity rate.
Some experts also said that the country is in midst of second Covid wave and it could witness even more cases in the coming weeks.
“We are in the midst of second wave of Covid. 1,00,000 new cases could be added in the next 6-8 weeks if specific steps aren’t taken,” Dr NK Arora, Head, Operations Research group of National Covid-19 Task Force told CNBC TV18.
Punjab authorities said that they had found at least 30 super-spreader instances, where more than 10 cases were recorded from a single event.
"In around 75-80 percent of the cases, patients were found asymptomatic or with mild symptoms. Contact tracing, after one person from the event was found, led to detection in these functions," a nodal officer reportedly said.
Doctors in Delhi also blame weddings, social outings and get-togethers for the current surge in cases.
"I have personally seen several cases where groups of people got the infection at a wedding. There are cases where five to six people in one group who travel for a destination wedding get it. Then, there are kitty parties where four to five people have contracted the infection. We need to change our behaviour, there is no other way to control the spread of the infection," Surajit Chaterjee, senior consultant at Apollo hospital said.
Recently, a large gathering of people in a funeral turned into a superspreading even in Telangana where 33 people got infected after attending a funeral on February 18.