Coronovirus live updates: India has no cases of community transmission, yet

The director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research, Balram Bhargava, stated that the preliminary results of 500 random samples were all tested negative.

No matter where you live, the Coronavirus situation has most likely reached your terrain or at least, is close enough to make you indulge in social-distancing. For the uninitiated, COVID-19 is a highly infectious respiratory disease caused by a new strain of coronavirus, which was was discovered in China back in December 2019.

Since then it has spread all over the globe and of course, India being the second most populated country in the world, has reported a number of cases as well although it isn't as severe as the conditions in Italy and China right now. Amidst this chaos of illnesses and demises, the good news is that India has not yet faced community transmission and it still is in stage 2 (local transmission) of the Covid-19 outbreak.

What's Good?

The director-general of Indian Council of Medical Research, Balram Bhargava, stated that the preliminary results of 500 random samples were all tested negative and following these outcomes, there has been no evidence yet of a community outbreak. According to reports, these samples were sourced from ICMR's 51 laboratories and it all belonged to individuals with acute respiratory illness from various ICUs.

So what is Community Transmission?

Two or more cases of a similar illness with a common exposure in the community, which is not considered a foodborne, waterborne, zoonotic, healthcare-associated or institutional disease outbreak, is known as community transmission. Basically any disease affecting a bunch of people whose source of transmission is not traceable, falls under this bracket.

Although in a statement on March 5, the health ministry had quoted that a few cases of community transmission have been observed in India but on Thursday, Luv Aggarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, denied any such claims. He was quoted saying, "There have been no signs of community transmission. Our objective is to avoid indiscriminate testing, reduce panic and optimally utilise the resources, and scale up testing facilities."

It is also being said that the ICMR has scaled up its testing facilities and now at present, there are 121 functional laboratories which are well-equipped to test for the novel coronavirus. As per reports, the laboratories operated by other government departments and hospitals will soon be eligible to carry out such testing.

Bhargava further stated, "We are also operationalising two rapid testing laboratories. We are getting the reagents to make them functional and they will be able to test up to 1,400 samples a day. They will be operationalised by the end of this week."

Knock Knock

So no matter where you are and how usual your common cold feels, do keep a track on the common signs of infection. The symptoms include respiratory uneasiness, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, this infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death!

The standard recommendations which are being advised by medical experts to prevent this infection from spreading further includes regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing and thoroughly cooking of meat and eggs. Also, do avoid close contact with others, irrespective of their good health conditions because 'quarantine' is the word around the world right now.

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