IMA warns of surge in COVID cases post-Onam

‘Even one extra social visit per family could multiply spread’

The Kochi chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has warned that even one extra social visit per family in connection with Onam could multiply the spread of the coronavirus this season.

“Therefore, during the festive season we are advising people to stick to the smallest social bubble possible, and to reduce social visits to avoid overlap of bubbles,” said Dr. Rajeev Jayadevan, convener of the IMA’s scientific committee here.

“The risk of spread is much lower in open spaces. The risk of spread is greater indoors. Therefore, systematic efforts must be made to improve ventilation and air circulation after consulting experts such as architects/engineers,” he said.

An advisory issued by the association on the possible COVID-19 surge post-Onam pointed out that the timing of opening of shops and other public places must be extended so that people have the option of shopping when it is less crowded. Reducing opening hours will only increase crowding.

“Social bubble refers to people we are regularly in contact with. Excessive socialisation means that many bubbles converge,” T.V. Ravi, president of IMA, Kochi, said.

Dr. Ravi said that it becomes possible for a virus located in a bubble far away to find its way to our home or workplace unless we are consciously aware of multiple bubbles around us. “Socialisation increases this risk. For people who work in healthcare/public places, the bubble is large,” he said.

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