Still, searching for the definition of community transmission?
13 Jun 2020
India at present has 300000 confirmed cases and placed fourth-highest in the world. But the government still stubborn with the argument that there was no community spread in India. The report recently published by BBC has revealed that the argument of the country is based on the context that the available definition of the community spread does not agree upon the community spread in the country. So the existence of the community spread is simply but a question of definition.
The definition provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to experts is broad and vague. At the same time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued guidelines on how to manage community transmission. However, community transmission as generally accepted is that if someone who gets the virus without any known contact with another confirmed case or from a country he/she traveled from a country which badly affected by the pandemic, where it means that the virus is moving freely in the community.
Dr. Balram Bhargava, head of the Indian Medical Research Institute (ICMR) still argue stubbornly that there is no community transmission of Covid-19 in the country. He says that India is such a large country and prevalence is very low. Dr. Bhargava states that though there is a heightened debate around the term, the fact is that the WHO has not defined the community spread so far, and in the context, there is community transmission in India. The community spread is but a term only and the truth is that the people are infecting each other.
While the debate on community spread burns in public, Mr. Satyender Jain, the Health Minister of Delhi, where the pandemic is shooting up, has admitted that there is transmission in the community in the capital. But he said it was up to the federal government to declare it as community transmission or not. This means that so far, there is no officially accepted definition for the term, Community spread.
At the same time, Dr. Jacob John, a prominent virologist, says that there are clear signs of community transmission in India but the authorities are not dared enough to call it so without the consent of the federal government. According to government data, about 0.3 or 0.4% of India’s population have been tested. So evidently according to Dr. Jacob, there are two countries within India right now, i.e., the four million, or 0.4%, tested and the rest. So in a concluded way, the government is arguing that 99.6% of the country is uninfected and it shows the prevalence of infection is very low. And such a low rate derives at a reasonable conclusion that there is no community transmission in the country.
Dr. Jacob finally concludes that the pandemic is indigenously spreading. The people are infecting together. And this is the true definition of community transmission. The source is immaterial. It is truly an indigenous epidemic and it is spreading in the community hence, there is community transmission. It’s a community transmission in its very early stages. The experts say that neither the definition for the community transmission nor the approval by the federal government to call it community transmission does not matter as the country is treading through 300000 confirmed cases and 10000 deaths. The situation is grave and needs very much grave attention.