Staying at Home will Reduce Expected Coronavirus Cases by 62%: ICMR

The study shows that early intervention and strict adherence to social distancing can contain the number of cases and minimize burden on healthcare facilities

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India may have the solution to reduce coronavirus pandemic from spreading further—stay at home.


Social distancing measures can reduce the overall expected cases in the country by 62 per cent, shows a study by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), a government health research body.

 “Strictly implemented social distancing measures such as home quarantine of symptomatics and suspected cases will reduce the overall expected number of cases by 62 per cent and the peak number of cases by 89 per cent, thus “flattening” the curve and providing more opportunities for interventions,” the study says.

Based on mathematical modelling devised from initial understanding of the spread of Covid-19 infection, the study lays importance on the difference early intervention can make in preventing the virus from spreading far and wide.

“The mathematical modeling done by ICMR suggests that entry screening of travellers with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 can delay the introduction of the virus into the community by three days to three weeks,” it stated.

The study takes two scenarios—optimistic scenario and pessimistic scenario—to evaluate the effectiveness of early intervention. Under the former, the reproducing number (Ro), which means the number of people an infected person is likely to infect, is 1.5, whereas in a pessimistic scenario Ro is 4.5.

In the ‘optimistic’ scenario, assuming that even if 50 per cent of people showing symptoms are quarantined, which mean screened and tested, within three days of developing symptoms, it would reduce the number of cases by 62 per cent.

In contrast, in a ‘pessimistic’ scenario, the projected impact of such an intervention on reducing new cases will be much lower at 2 per cent.

Source: ICMR Study

The study clearly shows that timely intervention and adhering to strict social distancing can contain the number of cases and minimize burden on healthcare facilities.

In a preventive measure, the government has imposed a nationwide lockdown for 21 days beginning March 25. Reiterating the importance of social distancing Prime Minister Narendra Modi said nobody should step out of their homes in these 21 days no matter what to stop the spread of the virus.