Physical distancing not the 'magic mantra' for hospitals, will help ease burden on doctors but only to a point

If social distancing is the only measure taken, it must be implemented extremely carefully.

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Society would have to increase social distancing time exponentially in order to see a linear decrease in hospital demand.
WASHINGTON: Scientists have found that longer periods of social distancing alone are not successful when it comes to slowing Covid-19 spread, an advance which may help make better decisions in countries where a second wave of the pandemic is expected.

"Conventional wisdom was, the more intense and long-term the social distancing, the more you will curb the disease spread," said Rajan Chakrabarty, a co-author of the study from Washington University in St. Louis in the US.

According to the study, published in the journal Chaos, any strategy that involves social distancing requires other steps be taken in tandem.


"But that is true if you have social distancing implemented with contact tracing, isolation and testing. Without those, you will give rise to a second wave," Chakrabarty said.

Payton Beeler, another co-author of the study, noted that if social distancing is the only measure taken, it must be implemented extremely carefully in order for its benefits to be fully realized.

Their epidemiological model used data gathered by Johns Hopkins University in the US between March 18 and March 29, a period marked by a rapid surge in Covid-19 cases and the onset of social distancing in most US states.
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Calibrating the model using these datasets allowed the authors to analyse unbiased results that had not yet been affected by large-scale distancing in place, they said.

The model also included details on how much people of different age groups interact, and how that affects the spread of transmission.

"Had social distancing been implemented earlier, we probably would've done a better job," Chakrabarty said.

Over the short-term, more distancing and less hospital demand go hand in hand, the scientists said, adding that this is only up to two weeks.
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After that, they said the time spent distancing does not benefit hospital demand as much.

Society would have to increase social distancing time exponentially in order to see a linear decrease in hospital demand, the researchers noted.
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They said this leads to diminishing returns.

Society would see smaller and smaller benefits to hospital demand the longer it spent social distancing, the scientists explained.

According to the researchers, if social distancing "alone" is to be implemented longer than two weeks, a moderate shut down, say between 50-70 per cent, could be more effective for the society than a stricter complete shut-down in yielding the largest reduction in medical demands.

Another strategy for flattening the curve involves acting intermittently, alternating between strict social distancing and no distancing to alleviate the strain on hospitals, the study noted.

According to the model, the most efficient distancing- to- no-distancing ratio is five to one, meaning one day of no distancing for every five days at home.

Had society acted in this way, the researchers said the hospital burden could have been reduced by 80 per cent.

"Bending the curve using social distancing alone is analogous to slowing down the front of a raging wildfire without extinguishing the glowing embers," said Chakrabarty.

"They are waiting to start their own fires once the wind carries them away," he said, adding however that his team's model cannot inform strategies going forward as it used data collected in March.

But Chakrabarty added that it may be able to inform our actions if we find ourselves in a similar situation in the future.

"Next time, we must act faster, and be more aggressive when it comes to contact tracing and testing and isolation," Chakrabarty said.

The Weekend That Was: Bachchans, Anupam Kher Family Under Covid Cloud; All’s Well, Says Hema, And Riddhima (About Ranbir)
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On Saturday night, just when the country was about to go to sleep, the news of the country's biggest superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, testing positive for coronavirus broke, sending shockwaves around the nation. In the hours that followed, more members of the Bachchan family tested positive for Covid-19 and Anupam Kher’s family, too, was hit by the corona-crisis.

On Sunday morning, the country woke up to rumours of Hema Malini and the Kapoor family testing positive for Covid-19. Here’s a detailed rundown of what transpired over the weekend - who tested positive and who didn’t.

On Saturday night, just when the country was about to go to sleep, the news of the country's biggest superstar, Amitabh Bachchan, testing positive for coronavirus broke, sending shockwaves around the..
Read More

Senior Bachchan is known to have dealt with health complications before and even fought a close battle with death after a life-threatening accident on the sets of his film ‘Coolie’ in 1982. However, when the news about the thespian testing positive for deadly Covid-19 broke, the entire country collectively prayed for his health and speedy recovery.

The who’s who of B-Town, sports fraternity and India Inc sent best wishes for the actor. The Big B, on Sunday night, took to social media to thank all those who prayed for his good health. “To them that have expressed their concern, their prayers and their wishes for Abhishek, Aishwarya, Aaradhya and me .. my unending gratitude and love,” wrote the megastar.

Senior Bachchan is known to have dealt with health complications before and even fought a close battle with death after a life-threatening accident on the sets of his film ‘Coolie’ in 1982. However, ..
Read More

Only an hour after the news of Senior Bachchan testing positive broke, Abhishek Bachchan sent out a tweet from his Twitter account confirming that he, too, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In his tweet, Abhishek wrote that the local civic authorities have been informed and that their family and staff are also being tested for Covid-19.

Asking everyone to stay calm and not panic, Abhishek wrote, “The BMC has been in touch and we are complying with them.” Last week, Abhishek had been busy with the promotions of his upcoming Amazon Prime original ‘Breathe: Into The Shadows’. Abhishek’s co-star from the webseries, Amit Sadh, had tested negative for Covid-19.



Only an hour after the news of Senior Bachchan testing positive broke, Abhishek Bachchan sent out a tweet from his Twitter account confirming that he, too, has tested positive for the novel coronavir..
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On Sunday, a day after the Big B and Abhishek tested positive, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter Aaradhya, also tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope took to Twitter to break the news which was confirmed by Abhishek via a tweet.

“Aishwarya and Aaradhya have also tested COVID-19 positive,” wrote Abhishek in his tweet. The rest of the family, including Jaya Bachchan and Shweta Bachchan Nanda had tested negative. Abhishek announced on Twitter that both Aishwarya and Aaradhya will be self-quarantining at home.

On Sunday, a day after the Big B and Abhishek tested positive, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and her daughter Aaradhya, also tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Top..
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A day after the Bachchans revealed they were corona-positive, actor Anupam Kher confirmed on Sunday that his mother, Dulari, along with brother Raju and his wife have also tested positive for Covid-19.

While Kher's mother is admitted to Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai, his brother's family is quarantining at their home.

Sharing a two-minute-20-second-long video on Twitter, the 65-year-old actor said his mother wasn't able to eat well for the past few days.

"I've informed the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) they're working amazingly, efficiently. They will sanitise my brother's residence," Kher said in a tweet.

A day after the Bachchans revealed they were corona-positive, actor Anupam Kher confirmed on Sunday that his mother, Dulari, along with brother Raju and his wife have also tested positive for Covid-1..
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On Sunday, The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sealed actor Rekha's bungalow in suburban Bandra after a security guard there tested coronavirus positive.The BMC has put a board outside the premises declaring the place as a containment area.

The security guard has been hospitalised at the BMC's Covid-19 care facility in Bandra Kurla Complex.

On Sunday, The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sealed actor Rekha's bungalow in suburban Bandra after a security guard there tested coronavirus positive.The BMC has put a board outside the p..
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On Sunday, social media was abuzz with rumours that Hema Malini had been rushed to the hospital due to poor health.

However, daughter Esha Deol was quick to quash the rumours on social media. "My mother @dreamgirlhema is fit & fine! The news regarding her health is absolutely fake so please don't react to such rumours!" she tweeted.

"Thanks to everyone for their love and concern," the actor-author added.

On Sunday, social media was abuzz with rumours that Hema Malini had been rushed to the hospital due to poor health.However, daughter Esha Deol was quick to quash the rumours on social media. "My moth..
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On Sunday, rumour mills seemed to be working overtime. Besides Hema Malini, there were also rumours that Ranbir Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor had also tested positive for Covid-19.

Jewellery designer Riddhima Kapoor Sahni took to Instagram on Sunday to confirm that her mother and brother were completely fit. She further slammed the 'attention seekers' and 'lunatics' for spreading fake news.

Riddhima later dismissed the reports, and told news agency PTI, "Obviously not (true). Please stop spreading fake rumours. At least not at this time, would appreciate."

On Sunday, rumour mills seemed to be working overtime. Besides Hema Malini, there were also rumours that Ranbir Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor had also tested positive for Covid-19. Jewellery designer Riddh..
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