Coronavirus Outbreak: No community spread of the virus yet, govt is ready, says NITI Aayog member

FE Online

The spread of the Coronavirus in the country has not yet reached stage three and government is putting all out efforts to prevent it from happening according to Dr. V K Paul, head of the NITI Aayog panel which is leading the fight against the novel Coronavirus, the IE reported. Paul also said that the containment measures and lockdowns measures are the part of the government strategy in anticipation of the virus making a transition to stage 3.

Till today, what we can say is that we are preparing for stage 3 and intensifying efforts to increase containment and isolation measures across the country, Paul was quoted as saying by IE. He further maintained that so far the numbers show that it is limited to local transmission and it has not reached the critical stage of serious deaths and disease.

In medical science parlance, various stages of the spread of the Coronavirus have been defined. The first stage of the virus is limited to the occurrence of the virus in only those who have come from a foreign country. In the second stage, the family members and close contacts of the infected patients also come into the grip of the virus. The third and most catastrophic stage of the virus is stage 3 when those having no history of foreign travel or close contacts get inflicted with the deadly virus. This stage is called the community transmission where the virus is spreading in the community.

Explaining the changes into the government strategy, Paul said it was around 10 days back after the call of the Prime Minister that steps were taken not only to contain the virus but also prepare the nation for the worst stage of the virus. He added that whatever steps the government is taking, are being taken to tackle the next stage if God forbid, it comes to that. To the question of 4-5 cases emerging in the country which appear to be a result of the community transmission, Paul said that he would be able to comment on it only after investigation and tests have been completed.

Vouching for the veracity of the data which has so far been provided by the government, Paul said that in his opinion all the data which have been made public are correct. With demands coming from all quarters to step up the testing of the virus, Paul said that the government took a balanced approach according to the resources it had at that point in time and it also ensured that it did not miss out on anything. With countries across the globe resorting to mass testing in order to contain the virus, questions were raised about few tests being conducted by the government. The government had also come under heavy criticism for alleged lack of testing kits to tackle the spread of the virus.

Conceding that the numbers were limited in the beginning but in the middle of the spread there was no paucity of the testing kits. He also added that there is no question of availability of the testing kits at present.