India Not in Community Transmission, ICMR Says Even As Cases Spike
“India is such a large country and prevalence is very low. India is not in community transmission,” ICMR has said.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director-General Balram Bhargava, in a press briefing on Thursday, 11 June, said there is no community transmission of COVID-19 in India. "India is such a large country and prevalence is very low. India is not in community transmission," he said. It is important to note that this survey does not include containment zones in COVID hotspots in the city. That report is awaited.
The recovery rate in the country stands at 49.21 percent, the Health Ministry representative said at the briefing, with the number of patients recovered exceeding the number of active cases.
Results of Serosurvey: Less than 1% Of Sample Studied Had Past Exposure
The ICMR shared data from the first serosurvey conducted in collaboration with the state health departments, NCDC and WHO India in May and observed that only 0.73% of those studied had evidence of past exposure to the infection. The survey had two parts, out of which the first one, which studied the general population, has been completed.
While data is still being collected from containment zones in hotspot cities as part of the second phase of the survey, initial reports have hinted at widespread transmission in those areas. The ICMR also noted in its results that the “infection in containment zones were found to be high with significant variations” (survey still ongoing).
For Part 1, 15 districts each were selected from four groups (zero cases, low incidence, medium incidence and high incidence). The blood samples and data were collected from a total of 26,400 individuals.
The findings revealed that the risk is higher in urban slums than in rural areas, and the infection fatality rate is under 1%. Considering the low percentage infected, the ICMR Director-General concluded that the lockdown and containment measures have helped minimise spread, but this also means that a large proportion of the population is still susceptible to the infection.
“We have to work on the non Pharmacological Interventions such as physical distancing, use of face mask/cover, hand hygiene, cough etiquette. Local lockdown measures need to continue.”ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava
Meanwhile, India on Thursday, 11 June, reported the highest single-day spike of 9,996 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally in the country to 2,86,579. As many as 357 fatalities in the last 24 hours took the death toll to 8,102. The ICMR pointed out that India’s cases per lakh population (20.77), as well as mortality per lakh population (0.59), were among the lowest in the world.
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