Let us first understand what is stage three of coronavirus epidemic also known as covid-19 or wuhan disease.
Stage Three of coronavirus means community transmission, The term community transmission means that the source of infection for the spread of an illness is unknown or a link in terms of contacts between patients and other people is missing. It refers to the difficulty in grasping the epidemiological link in the community beyond confirmed cases.
In a statement on 5 March the health ministry had said that a few cases of community transmission have been observed in India.
The statement read: “Since, in addition to COVID-19 cases related to travel, some cases of community transmission have also been observed, it has been decided to involve district collectors and states have been asked to form rapid response teams as the district, block and village levels.”
On Thursday, however, Luv Aggarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, denied any community transmission of COVID-19 in the country.
As per one report in News18, India Has Delayed Community Transmission.
A senior scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the nodal body framing the country’s policy for coronavirus testing, has said India has delayed community transmission of the virus and the 21-day nationwide lockdown is likely to help us in a major way.
As per the report of moneycontrol, 400 million Indians to be infected by July, report suggests start of community transmission.
In the next months, as many as 100 million people in India are likely to contract the coronavirus infection, a report by Johns Hopkins University and Center for Diseases Dynamics, Economic and Policy (CDDEP) suggests. These numbers are expected to soar to around 300 million to 400 million by July, without interventions.
Even as the number of cases in India has breached the 700-mark as on March 27, with the country under a 21-day lockdown, the report says, “A national lockdown is not productive and could cause serious economic damage, increase hunger and reduce the population resilience for handling the infection peak. Some states may see transmission increase only after another 2 weeks and lockdowns should be optimized for when they could maximize the effect on the epidemic but minimize economic damage.”
Why is it worrisome
The Indian government has been closely monitoring the outbreak in the country through contact tracing.
Contact tracing means when a case of coronavirus is detected, each individual with whom the patient has come in contact is closely monitored. If necessary, these individuals can be kept in isolation to prevent the infection from spreading further.
In the case of community transmission, contact tracing is inadequate in containing the disease. This is because any person — irrespective of whether she or he has been exposed to an already infected person or have travelled to affected countries — remains vulnerable.
This is particularly worrisome for health officials because that means the virus is in the community but no one knows where it has come from or track its origins. This also means the virus can be widespread in a community.
How fast is COVID-19 spreading in India
Of the first 50 cases that were detected in India till 10 March, a majority had foreign travel history. Only 11 had contracted the disease within the country, all of whom were known to have come in contact with known COVID-19 patients.
The government has, however, not revealed travel history of the 25 new cases since then.
If Coronavirus Transmission Enters Stage 3, India’s Health Infra May Not Cope Up: Kejriwal
Addressing a press conference with Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, the chief minister also said, “Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures.”
He cited examples of other countries like Italy, Iran and China and stressed upon moving in quickly to lockdown the capital. “Now, in Delhi we have 27 cases. Among these, 6 are those due to local transmission, while the rest are those of people who had returned after traveling abroad. Until now, in Delhi, the stage is still that of local transmission and it has not spread.”
Kejriwal further flagged concerns that in the event of a possible stage 3 of the virus, the health infrastructure available may not not be able to cope up. “If we go into a lockdown after more cases are reported, perhaps our hospitals and health infrastructure will not be able to deal with it which could result in many deaths.”
“This is the reason why we all have decided that for the sake of everyone’s health, for the sake of Delhi and the country, the city will be locked down from March 23, 6 AM March till March 31, 12 PM.”
As per the statements given by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, India’s Health Infra May Not Cope Up, and we could see more deaths.
Is this the reason, the center government is trying to hide the truth, facts and data in order to prevent the people from panicking?