The coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) is rapidly expanding its footprint in India and has entered the third phase, community transmission, said Dr. Girdhar Gyani in an interview with the coordinator of the Covid hospital task force -19. The Quint.
“India has entered the third phase, which is community transmission, this is the start of this stage,” said Dr. Gyani.
However, Union Health officials said on Thursday that India is in the second stage as there is still no “hard evidence” to say that there has been community transmission rapidly spreading coronavirus, remarks that could provide anxious citizens with much needed confidence and hope.
READ ALSO: The coronavirus led us to a recession worse than 2009: the head of the IMF
“As the number of Covid-19 cases increases, there appears to be a relatively stable trend or even a slight reduction in the rate at which they increase,” said Lav Aggarwal, head of the Department of Health, during a briefing.
Dr. Gyani said the next ten days would be crucial to stopping the spread of the pandemic and even the asymptomatic one so far, could start showing symptoms once the situation got out of hand.
He stressed that the government should act quickly to break the chain of transmission and should test even those who do not have all the symptoms. “I said the same thing during a meeting with Prime Minister Modi that we are running out of time and need to act quickly,” he added.
READ ALSO: Covid-19 Relief: RBI cuts the 75 bps repo; postpones NDEs of term loans for 3 months
Once community transmission begins, an epidemic quickly spreads in clusters and the source of origin will be difficult to trace. India has reported 724 cases to date and is in the middle of a 21-day blockage nationwide. Maharashtra has had the highest infections at 156. 17 people have died from Covid-19 in the country so far.
Meanwhile, central and state governments have launched war measures to offset the fallout from Covid-19 on the poor and vulnerable. While the Union’s finance ministry has unveiled an economic package of 1.70 trillion rupees including free food grains and cooking gas to the poor for the next three months, many state governments have announced plans to rations and free cash transfers