Controversy after govt document uses limited community transmission word to describe current Indian Scenario
transmission and limited community transmission to define the current Indian scenario in an government document recently created a controversy.
The mention of these words were seen in the "Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for transporting a suspect/confirmed case of COVID-19" that were released by the government on Sunday.
" This SOP is applicable to current phase of COVID-19 pandemic in India (local transmission and limited community transmission), wherein as per plan of action, all suspect cases are admitted to isolation facilities," the SOP stated
The government, however was quick to respond and clarify that India is NOT in the community transmission stage as of yet
Reiterating that COVID-19 is still in the local transmission stage in India, the Health Ministry on Monday said it took 12 days for cases of infection to rise from 100 to 1,000 and that the rate of increase has been slower than some of the developed countries.
Addressing the daily press briefing on the actions taken, preparedness and updates on COVID-19, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health Lav Agarwal said 92 new cases and four deaths due to coronavirus have been reported in India since Sunday, taking total cases to 1,071 and the number of deaths to 29.
"It took 12 days for cases to rise from 100 to 1,000 in our country, whereas seven other developed nations having lesser population than us have seen multiple increase," he said.
Agarwal attributed the slow pace of rise in cases in India to people's participation in strictly following the social distancing guidelines and the collective preemptive actions taken by the Centre in tandem with state governments.
Underlining the importance of social distancing, he said even one person's carelessness can lead to the spread of this pandemic.
He, however, said instead of panic, there is a need for creating awareness about COVID-19.
"Technically, COVID-19 is still in the local transmission stage in the country as there has been no community transmission as of now," he said, adding, "If there will be a community transmission we will want to covey it to the community through you (media) to increase the level of alertness and management for COVID-19 at the field level."
Speaking at the same press conference, Raman R Gangakhedkar, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said 38,442 tests have been conducted till now, out of which 3,501 were done on Sunday.
He said 47 private laboratories have been given approval for conducting COVID-19 tests and in the last three days, 1,334 tests have been done in private labs, he said.
"We are still utilising less than 30 percent of our testing capacity, he reiterated.