No COVID-19 Community Transmission In India, Says Health Ministry
It was also assured that the cases in India have been responding well to symptomatic treatment.
In a media briefing on the novel coronavirus situation in India, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, emphasized that there is no need to panic and that the ministry has been following a ‘preventive approach’ to avoid a surge in cases.
He also stressed on a combined effort by the people and the media to work in collaboration with the health ministry to follow the required protocol —which includes maintaining hand and respiratory hygiene as well as ‘social distancing’. “Help us to help you”, he said.
The panel also assured that the cases in India have been responding well to symptomatic treatment, which implies that they are mild cases and need not be a cause of panic. Treating symptoms such as fever, cough or breathlessness has been successful in the reported patients until now.
Community v/s Local Transmission
Lav Agarwal highlighted that India has been fortunate to not have witnessed any ‘community transmission’ yet.
What it has seen instead is ‘local transmission’ — which means the cases have remained within close family members or acquaintances. When the circle becomes so huge that it becomes impossible to trace each other, then it would qualify as community transmission.
“God has been kind to us. We haven’t reached that stage yet.”Lav Agarwal
He added that the ministry is spontaneously adapting to whatever the situation demands, and is currently focusing on enhancing the country’s ‘core capacity’, which includes:
- Point-of-entry surveillance
- Logistics, equipment, and beds in hospitals
- Sufficient lab testing capacity
- Mitigating community risk
While the World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak a ‘pandemic’, it was asserted that India’s efforts are in consonance with the international community. In terms of preventive steps, the country has already initiated steps days and even weeks back. “We are primarily preparing ourselves so that in case there are more cases, we will be prepared to manage them. We aren’t isolated from the world.”
Over 1,500 people are under observation for coming in contact with 73 positive cases of coronavirus, ministry officials said at a press conference.
Till now, 10.5 lakh people have been screened at 30 designated airports in India, said officials.
When questioned whether high temperature kills coronavirus, the officials said there is no study or evidence to suggest that.
They also said that the ICMR will start surveillance to examine whether any infected person has been left undetected.
(With inputs from PTI)
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