Connecting the dots to mitigate a third wave -Brian Wahl
The acronym ‘DOTS’ is a framework to understand the dynamics of the second wave, thereby helping mitigate the next
After a long and painful month-and-a-half, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India have been declining steadily for more than a month. Deaths have started to decrease as well. However, it is a long way down from an unprecedented peak of more than 400,000 daily cases, and the suffering will continue for weeks and months to come. It does, however, appear that the second wave of the novel coronavirus is abating.
‘R’ and determinants
A simple epidemiologic concept can be used to better understand the second wave and help plan for a potential third wave. The reproduction number — often referred as R — is the average number of new infections arising from one infected individual. R fluctuates over time during an epidemic. When R is greater than 1, infected individuals infect more than one person on average and we observe increasing cases. When it is less than 1, cases are declining. It is not a perfect statistic, especially when cases are low, but it does provide helpful insights into how an epidemic is changing.
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The Hindu, 8 June, 2021, https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/connecting-the-dots-to-mitigate-a-third-wave/article34756332.ece?homepage=true