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COVID-19: Health Minister admits to community transmission

Rida Shaikh

After spending nine months in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the centre has finally accepted to community transmission of the virus in the country. According to the news agency PTI, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan admitted on Sunday that community transmission of the coronavirus is restricted to some districts in a limited number of the states. He furthermore ascertained that community transmission isn’t currently taking place in the country.

During the sixth episode of his social media episode “Sunday Samvaad,” Harsh Vardhan made the statement while interacting with the people in relation to the community transmission of the novel coronavirus.

As per the reports of the PTI, a participant cited the Chief Minister of Bengal Mamata Banerjee’s remarks about community transmission in Bengal while asking the question related to it. The participant asked the minister which states have experienced community transmission.

According to PTI, Harsh Vardhan said, “In different pockets across various states, including West Bengal, community transmission of COVID-19 is expected to occur, especially in densely-populated areas.

"However, this is not happening across the country. Community transmission is limited to certain districts, occurring in a limited number of States.”

He furthermore added that till now no case of mutation of virus has been reported in India that is either more transmission-efficient or pathogenic.

The World Health Organisation has not yet rolled out a definitive definition of community transmission. Regarding this, a representative from ICMR said, “There is a heightened debate around this term - community transmission, having said that, I think even the WHO has not given a definition for it and as we have shown that India is such a large country and the prevalence is so low.”

General Director of ICMR Balram Bhargava said,"India is not in community transmission and I would like to emphasise it.”

At the stage of community transmission, the disease spreads among the population spreads in such a way that the people become unaware how they were exposed to the contagion: the people haven’t travelled to a part of the world that is currently combating an outbreak or haven’t been in contact with someone who has contracted the virus.



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