Has India entered stage 3? Experts, officials disagree

Coronavirus update: Has India entered stage 3? Experts, officials disagree

New Delhi : Coronavirus cases in India are continuously rising every day and with reports of people testing posititbe with no travel history or documented contact with the infected patient, experts believe that India may have slipped into the Phase 3 of the coronavirus.

In Phase 3, people are likely to test positive with the infection without having any travel history or point of contact with the infected person. This also known as community transmission under which the toll of positive cases rise very fast and doctors fail to know the source to stop it.

Such cases have been reported from all over the country: a 29-year-old rail employee in Bihar, a young political leader in Kerala, a 60-year-old bank officer in Odisha and a 57-year-old man in West Bengal being just a few examples. In all such cases, authorities could not find the source of contagion.

Despite such cases, ICMR has refused to accept that India has slipped into the Phase 3. “There is no community transmission in India as of now, as by definition community transmission means when there is a large number of cases where you cannot trace the source. A few cases in a large country like ours where contact/source is not known doesn’t meant community transmission, it means more effort needs to go in contact tracing. It is not a simple process and at times takes time,” said Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, ministry of health and family welfare.

Meanwhile, health experts have disagreed with the ICMR claim and said that no enough tests are being carried out to diagnose the actual number of disease.

“Unless you test, you won’t know. In the initial phase of the epidemic, there are very few cases, but once it begins, its spreads like wildfire. So testing more people holds the key. It will determine whether we go the way of Italy, or Korea,” said a senior public health expert, requesting anonymity.

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