Community transmission of Covid-19 on in India: Experts

NEW DELHI, Jun 13: Amid a massive spurt in coronavirus cases in India, experts on Saturday came down hard on the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for its serosurvey findings to assert that there was no community transmission of Covid-19, saying it was not reflective of the current situation and the government was showing “obstinacy” in accepting the truth.
Emphasizing that community transmission was on in many parts of the country, the experts asked the government to admit it, so that people don’t get complacent.
The assertion by experts from the field of virology, public health and medicine came after ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava at a media briefing on Thursday said that India was “definitely not in the community transmission stage of Covid-19 spread.”
Former AIIMS director, Dr MC Mishra said there is no doubt that there has been community transmission in several parts of the country.
“With the mass exodus and the country unlocking, it has become more rapid and the disease has reached areas where there were no cases. It is high time the government comes to fore and acknowledges it, so that people become more alert and do not become complacent,” Mishra told PTI.
Leading virologist Shahid Jameel said India reached the community transmission stage a long time ago.
“It’s just that the health authorities are not admitting it. Even ICMR’s own study of SARI (severe acute respiratory illness) showed that about 40 percent of those who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 did not have any history of overseas travel or contact to a known case. If this is not community transmission, what is?” said Jameel.
Noted lung surgeon, Dr Arvind Kumar said that even if the ICMR’s argument is accepted, “it cannot be denied that community transmission is happening in places like Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.”
India’s Covid-19 tally breached the three-lakh mark on Saturday with a record single-day spike of 11,458 infections, while the death toll rose to 8,884, with 386 new fatalities, the union health ministry said.
With a Covid-19 caseload of 3,08,993, India is now the fourth worst-hit nation by the pandemic. (PTI)