New Delhi: With the nationwide lockdown completing seven days, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has claimed that the move has fetched positive results and has prevented the country from entering ‘community transmission’ stage. In India, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases and casualties are increasing with each passing day. As per healthy ministry data, as on March 31, there have been 1,397 confirmed cases including 124 recoveries and 35 fatalities. Amid the coronavirus scare in India, the central government announced a complete lockdown in the whole country with an aim to prevent the coronavirus from spreading in the community. According to Luv Agarwal of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR),
Lockdown has proved to positive but if the guidelines and advisories are not followed by the people and authorities then we can fail in this battle. We need to remain 100 per cent alert on the latest guidelines and follow those. Even a tiny gap in following the instructions can send all our efforts down the drain. In the lockdown stage we saw that it took us about a week between 100 cases and 1,000 cases. In other countries, 3,000 -5,000 cases have been found. We have received some positive results due to social distancing. Currently, nowhere are we calling it community transmission. We are still in the local transmission stage.
According to Manisha Verma, Chief Media official at MoHFW, the ministry is trying its best to address all angles in order to contain the spread of the novel virus. She said,
Detailed advisories and guidelines are being issued regularly and the ministry is doing everything in its power to tackle the outbreak. People should not panic as the government has taken proactive and timely steps.
In a status report filed by MoHFW in the Supreme Court today (March 31), the details of the steps taken by the government to deal with the coronavirus have been enumerated. This document, available on MoHFW’s website say that the government has issued an order to purchase 40,000 ventilators to meet the contingencies and the testing capacity has also been enhanced substantially from a single lab in January 2020 at Pune to total of 118 labs. It said the Centre has also already coordinated with 47 private laboratory chains, which have more than 20,000 collection centres in the country which will be able to collect the sample for Coronavirus.
Dr. Surya Kant, Professor and Head of Department of Respiratory Medicine, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) Lucknow asserted that while India has taken a slew of vital measures to remain in the stage 2 or the local transmission stage till now, the sharp rise in the new cases give us the reason to dread the stage 3 which is the community transmission stage. He added,
While we see a rise in the number of cases, the ray of hope comes from the increasing number of recovered cases in the last few days. We need to keep testing symptomatic people and isolate them.
Four Stages Of COVID-19 Transmission
According to medical experts, the first stage is when cases are imported from affected countries and only those who travelled abroad test positive. The government says India is still on Stage 2, which means that there is local transmission from infected persons. For example, relatives or acquaintances of those who travelled abroad. In local transmission, less people are affected and thus contact tracing is easier. The Stage 3 or community transmission is when a patient not exposed to any infected person or one who has not travelled to any of the affected countries tests positive. At this stage, people detected positive are unable to identify where they got the virus from. The Stage 4 is the most dreaded stage where transmission gets completely out of control and the disease has no clear end.