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Coronavirus | Confusion over source of infection in Indore

Medical staff applaud after four persons who recovered from COVID-19 are discharged from a hospital, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, in Indore, Friday, April 17, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Indore Collector Manish Singh has blamed passengers who flew in from abroad and anti-CAA agitations within the city for the Coronavirus outbreak locally, although not a single of the city's 892 patients has had an international travel history.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Even as health workers are still grappling to locate the source, Mr. Singh said, “There is no other medium. As many as 5,000-6,000 people returned from abroad and there were agitations going on in the city in which several people took part.” Indore was one of the major centres of the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act agitation within Madhya Pradesh where the police had on one occasion reportedly roughed up some participants too.

Mr. Singh asserted, “Mainly this [Coronavirus] has come through flights, the medium being the airport. The situation has come to be because of passengers who came here in January and February.” According to the World Health Organisation, most estimates of the incubation period, the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease, range from one to 14 days, most commonly around five days. The first case in Indore was reported on March 22.

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Since he was not there in Indore back then, added Mr. Singh, so he did not know what exact measures were in place then. “Now, what directions were there then, what actions were taken then, I couldn’t find the time to find that out,” said Mr. Singh in Indore, which makes up 65% of the 1360 cases and 68% of the 69 deaths in the State.

Indore has the third highest number of cases after New Delhi and Mumbai. Recently, the case fatality rate in the city, the largest and the most populous in the State, soared to 12%, the highest in the country.

Refuting the claim of Mr. Singh, a health expert involved in studying the pattern of the disease’s spread in Indore, requesting anonymity, said limiting the source of infection to international travel was unjustified. “It does not suffice for Indore, but may be applicable to New Delhi, Mumbai or Kerala which have several flights abroad. Indore has just one to Dubai.”

The virus was obviously imported into Indore, he said. Therefore, the generation of it, as a single point of source, remains outside, as it does for any place in India.

During contact tracing, experts were going over the possibility of an outbreak effected by a carrier’s indirect contact with someone with international travel history in another city. “Such carriers may have had domestic travel history, bringing the infection from some other city,” he said.

Once the virus crept into the community, it transmitted furiously in certain areas that are overcrowded. “The medium of transmission has been strong,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 5:04:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-confusion-over-source-of-infection-in-indore/article31373894.ece

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