India in stage 2 of COVID-19 outbreak, hope no community transmission: ICMR
New Delhi : Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava on Tuesday claimed that India is in stage two of coronavirus outbreak.
"We already know that we are in stage 2. We are not in stage 3, clearly as of now. There are four stages. The third stage is community transmission which we hope we shouldn’t have. It would depend on how strongly we close our international borders, in terms of which the government has taken very proactive steps. But can’t say that community transmission won’t happen," Bhargava said during a press conference in New Delhi.
Stage 2 is defined as the stage where imported cases (Stage 1) have transmission to one or more close contacts.
Stage three is community transmission, as is happening in Iran, Korea, US and many parts of Europe, with the last stage being an epidemic, which devastated China.
"All asymptomatic patients who have taken international flights in past 14 days should get tested if they develop symptoms," said Bhargava.
Coronavirus has spread its wings to more than 150 countries and has been notified in the 13 states of India. The total number of cases in the country has reached 137.
There have been many cases where it has been learned that the travellers have not been in the two-week quarantine or they have slipped from the quarantine facilities, resulting in the quick spreading of the virus.
Community transmission is referred to as a situation where the virus is found in a person who has not travelled to a country with an ongoing outbreak.
"We are in the process of engaging private NABL accredited laboratories for carrying out testing of Covid-19 cases. We have 72 functional ICMR laboratories in govt sector for testing; 49 more will be active by month-end," said Bhargava.
We appeal to all private laboratories to offer Covid-19 diagnosis free of cost, he added.