‘India still in second transmission stage’

Will know trends by tomorrow: officials

Senior scientists and health officials have said that India currently is showing no evidence of any community transmission and that enough tests were being done to pick up any early indication of third stage transmission.

“We are testing enough and so far there is no evidence for the need to go in for mass testing. You have to remember that India started proactive action from January 17, whereas our first cases came in the end of January. The country had put in early measures to ensure that transmission stays localised and any indications otherwise are picked up,”’ said Dr. Raman R. Gangakhedkar, head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases-I, Division, Indian Council of Medical Research, on Monday.

He said the ICMR was doing random testing to understand and gain any indication of community transmission.

“We will be getting the results of our random sampling by Wednesday, which will give us a flavour of where we are headed. As of now, the transmission is localised and our labs are receiving very few samples, and can test far more than the the number of samples that we are getting,” he said.

The ICMR has also noted that it has intensified random sample testing of people who show flu-like symptoms but don’t have a travel history to any coronavirus-hit nation. “We have picked up 20 samples from over 50 labs for testing community transmission. We had previously taken a smaller group of samples from our labs to check for community transmission between February 15 and 29. But since this is an evolving virus, we need to keep a check,” Dr. Gangakhedkar said.

Asked if weather conditions had an impact on the virus, he said: “Since the virus hasn’t seen many seasons, we cannot say conclusively that the virus will slow down with higher temperature.”

Recommended for you