No Community Transmission Of Coronavirus In India Yet, 820 Samples Test Negative: ICMR

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said that India has not entered stage III of COVID-19.

Denying all claims of community transmission of the novel coronavirus in India, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its report, has clarified that the 820 random samples collected have tested negative.

The samples were collected from 51 ICMR centres to check whether India has entered Stage 3 of COVID-19 transmission.

The ICMR had collected the samples of patients suffering from acute respiratory illness, even if they did not have any history of travel or contact with other people who tested positive for COVID-19, in order to monitor community transmission of the virus in the country.

"All the 820 samples have tested negative," Dr Nivedita Gupta, Senior Scientist, Division of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases told The New Indian Express, adding that the ICMR will resume testing samples from random patients for better and efficient surveillance.

The ICMR is, however, not claiming that there is no community transmission. Officials have said that 'these samples have tested negative is reassuring that at the moment there is no evidence to indicate community outbreak".

"This is very good news and probably indicates that community spread of the virus has not occurred so far. This is the time the country should focus on various measures such as social distancing, home quarantine, preventing large gatherings of public and increasing public awareness," Dr V Ravi, Head of Department of Neurovirology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) said.

"These measures, if taken on a war footing and implemented sincerely across the country, will avert a major epidemic," he added.

After ICMR confirmed that there was no proof of community transmission, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra took to Twitter to share the good news.

Earlier, ICMR has collected nearly 1,040 samples from coronavirus-infected patients admitted in ICU wards of various hospitals.

At present, India is on Stage 2 of the COVID-19 transmission, where the number of confirmed cases are increasing gradually.

The country has imposed restrictions on international travel and has taken to early screening, lockdown of public places, better personal hygiene and social distancing. These precautions have helped the country in containing the spread of the deadly pandemic to a large extent.

The government and the ICMR have started the testing of coronavirus cases in private sector diagnostic laboratories to enhance the process of thermal screening across the country. About 50-60 private labs are now capable to test for COVID-19. Until recently, only government-owned labs were permitted to conduct tests.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: Entrepreneurs Write To PM Modi, Suggest 2-3 Week Lockdown To Contain Spread Of Virus

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Editor : Shweta Kothari

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