Coronavirus: Second ICMR report on random sampling test results shows possible community transmission
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has been conducting random sampling tests on patients from various states to check for signs of community transmission. This time, the data compiled by the health research agency.
For five weeks between, February 15 and April 2, ICMR tested 5,911 SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses) patients for Covid-19. Of these cases, 104 tested positive (1.8 per cent of those who were tested) and these were from 52 districts in 20 states and union territories.
At least 40 cases (39.2 per cent of those tested positive) didn't have any foreign travel history or any connection with a foreign traveller. These cases were reported from 36 Indian districts in 15 states.
In 15 Indian States, more than one per cent of SARI patients were Covid-19 positive.
Gujarat: 792 SARI patients tested, 13 cases (1.6%) found to be positive for Covid-19
Tamil Nadu: 577 SARI patients tested, 5 cases (0.9%) found to be positive for Covid-19
Maharashtra: 553 SARI patients tested, 21 cases (3.8%) found to be positive for Covid-19
Kerala: 502 SARI patients tested, 1 case (0.2% ) found to be positive for Covid-19
The ICMR report said, "These districts need to be prioritised to target Covid-19 containment activities. Only two cases ( two per cent of those tested positive) reported contact with a confirmed case, one case ( one per cent of those tested positive) reported recent international travel, and, for about 59 such cases (57.8 per cent), exposure history was not available.
In the first ICMR study that was done weeks before March 14, no SARI patient had tested positive for coronavirus.
ICMR's overall conclusion on the basis of this report stated, "Covid-19 containment activities need to be targeted in districts reporting Covid-19 cases among SARI patients. Intensifying surveillance for Covid-19 among SARI patients may be an efficient tool to effectively use resources towards containment and mitigation efforts."