Community transmission of Covid 19 may have already started: Report
New Delhi : While there have been claims that India is on Stage 2 of coronavirus, some experts have claimed that the community transmission may have already begun.
"Community transmission began in India two to three weeks ago, around the same time as other countries. India is not an exception to the way the virus behaves. We just haven’t tested a representative sample that the country’s population of 1.34 billion demands," Ramanan Laxminayanan, director and senior fellow at Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy told Hindustan Times.
Community transmission is the situation when a person is diagnosed with the virus who does not have a travel history to the affected country. It indicates undiagnosed and often asymptomatic people are unknowingly causing infection, which makes it difficult to break the chain of transmission.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India must re-evaluate its strategy and test more people. So far, 151 confirmed cases have been registered with three deaths.
"The situation is evolving rapidly. We need to scale up emergency response mechanisms to engage with people; find, isolate, test more cases and trace every contact; ready our hospitals and protect and train health workers," Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-east Asia Region told Hindustan Times.
“Unless you test, you won’t know. Enough testing is not happening. In the initial phase of the epidemic, there are very few cases. But once it begins, its spreads like wildfire. So testing more people holds the key. Take the example of Italy and South Korea, it is very clear that the east Asian nation tested and did better. Enough surveillance is not happening, we should test all cases of SARI in all our hospitals, especially cases of patients on ventilator support,” said a senior public health expert, who didn’t wish to be named.
Across the world, more than 2 lakh people have been tested positive and over 7000 people have died of it.