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Covid-19: Centre says no community transmission, Punjab CM says may have begun

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The government on Friday said that community transmissions of coronavirus have not begun yet in the country and that there was no need to panic. The central government officials made the comment while citing results of all samples tested on Thursday which included a minuscule 0.2% positive results for Covid-19.

“Yesterday, we conducted 16002 tests. Only 0.2% cases tested positive. On the basis of the samples collected, the infection rate is not high,” said Lav Agrawal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health.

Government’s assurance that the deadly contagion had not progressed to the community transmissions phase- considered dangerous as positive cases start rising exponentially making tracing of the contacts nearly impossible—comes within hours of the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh expressing concerns to the contrary.

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Singh has expressed fear that there could be cases of community transmissions in his state that has reported a total of 113 positive cases so far including 8 deaths as per the data provided by the union health ministry. Singh said 27 positive cases in the state had been reported from secondary sources to back his claim.

He also added that continuance of the 21-day nationwide lockdown and curfew was the only way to contain the spread of Covid-19. His sentiment on preventive measures was echoed by the Union health ministry official in Delhi.

“Today, the challenge is not local or community transmission, but if we are taking all the precautionary and containment measures,” Agrawal said.

India has registered a total of 6412 coronavirus positive cases so far including 199 deaths, says the data available on the health ministry’s Covid-19 dashboard. The health ministry official added that positive cases in the last 24 hours had risen by 678 including 33 deaths.

Home ministry said that in view of the approaching festivals in the current month, all states and Union territories have been asked for strict compliance of the restrictions in place to prevent any mass events.

The government also added that the country had no shortage of anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine which is also being used for the treatment of selective coronavirus cases on medical prescription.

The government added that the production of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country was being ramped up.


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