As coronavirus cases in India near three lakh, fears of community transmission of the pandemic is rising. While the government has denied the community transmission phase, several experts have claimed otherwise. Former AIIMS director Dr MC Mishra said that India is in the grip of community transmission and that the government has not been implementing the strict protocol in containing the virus.
"If there is no community transmission, why are we reporting nearly 10,000 positive cases a day? If it's not community spread, where is this number coming from? If I say no community spread, I am closing my eyes and saying it is dark. There's no point in denying the truth," Dr Mishra told OutlookIndia.
He cited the recent cases of AIIMS doctors. Nearly 400 doctors, faculty and their relatives identified as coronavirus positive. They reportedly said that they haven't got the infection from the hospital but outside. "Outside infection means community spread," he contends.
Modi government in denial
The Narendra Modi government, however, has denied the prevalence of community transmission of the coronavirus pandemic, even as the country has been registering nearly 10,000 daily cases for the past few days.
"There is a heightened debate on community transmission. WHO has not given definition on it. India is such a large country and the prevalence is so low. The prevalence is less than one per cent in small districts. It is slightly higher in urban areas. In the containment areas, it may be slightly higher. But, we are definite that India is not in community transmission," Professor Balram Bhargava, DG, ICMR said.
As of today, June 11, there are 1,37,448 active cases of coronavirus in India while 1,41,028 patients have been cured and 8,102 have died due to the infection so far.
Large sections of India's population still vulnerable: ICMR Data
According to the ICMR survey, a large section of the country's population is still vulnerable to the disease. The ICMR also suggested states to remain vigilant and maintain surveillance and containment
"Data shows large sections of population still vulnerable so we need to protect high-risk groups, maintain social distancing hand hygiene etc. States cannot lower guard and need to maintain surveillance and containment," Professor Bhargava, DG, ICMR.