Coronavirus: India has 30-day window to stop community transmission, says ICMR
The world is researching to control the coronavirus outbreak which has killed over 5,000 people across the globe. Amid this difficult situation experts at India’s top health research body said that community transmission of COVID-19 is inevitable.
Indian health experts also thinking to follow China’s step in a bid to prevent the virus. “The virus will behave the same way it has behaved in China. It will follow the same pattern,” Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director-general Balram Bhargava said.
According to the ICMR officials, Indian has a 30-day window to halt the beginning of community transmission.
He also said that “If we manage 30 days, if community transmission doesn’t happen in the next 30 days, we may be at a good wicket.”
Community transmission happens when a patient is not exposed to anyone known to be infected and has not traveled to countries in which the virus has been spreading.
According to the ICMR experts, coronavirus comprised of four stages—1, 2, 3, and 4.
In stage 1, imported cases have been reported, stage 2 involves the local transmission, stage 3 is the community transmission while stage 4 when the disease becomes an epidemic.
Recently, India is at stage 2 and it could be halted if precautions can be taken properly.
By taking precautions, India can be prevented from moving towards stage 3. Many countries like China, Italy, the US, and Europe have been moved towards stage 3.
ICMR experts believe that going to stage 3 is inevitable, but it can be prevented if stopped the community transmission, Bhargava added.
In India, local transmission has been spread as a scientist have seen in the COVID-19 case of Agra, where five to six people of the family have been infected due to the coronavirus.
“We are not much worried up till stage 2. Stage 3 where the communities will be affected and in large areas, that is worrisome. Graph says that once community transmission happens it touches the tip,” Bhargava said. “We don’t want to create fear but we have to be realistic and pragmatic. Can we halt at this stage? Efforts of every individual are important,” he said.
Meanwhile, India is trying hard to keep at bay from stage four.
Experts are expecting that if India moves to stage 3 then it would affect the country just like the Zika virus. Scientist at the ICMR, Nivedita Gupta said that it is not necessary that the entire country will be swept of.