Coronavirus: India not in community transmission, says ICMR chief
The Government of India held a press briefing on Thursday to issue clarity about India's fight against the novel coronavirus. On behalf of the Centre and its various agencies, top officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), NITI Aayog, and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) spoke about various aspects of India's present stance against Covid-19.
Responding to a question by India Today regarding community transmission of the novel coronavirus in India, the representative from the ICMR said, "There is a heightened debate around this term - community transmission, having said that, I think even the WHO has not given a definition for it and as we have shown that India is such a large country and the prevalence is so low."
"We have found that prevalence is less than 1 per cent in these small districts. In the urban areas, it may be slightly higher, in the containment areas, it may be slightly higher. But we are definitely, India is not in community transmission and I would like to emphasise it. India is not in community transmission and that's only a term which is used but we have to continue with the strategy of testing, tracing, tracking, and quarantine and continue with the containment measures as we have found success until now," Director General of ICMR Balram Bhargava said.
During the press briefing on Thursday, the ICMR DG also said that India is constantly working to ramp up testing capacity. "We had one lab in January and we have 850 labs now. We have ramped up testing as far as India is concerned. We have clearly very calibrated guidelines as were revised on May 18," added Balram Bhargava.