Considering that a large number of coronavirus cases were being reported every day in Delhi and across the country, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain Saturday said it should have been accepted that there has been community transmission of the virus.
At a press briefing, Jain said the term ‘community spread’ has got stuck in technicalities, and that only the Central government and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) can give any confirmation on it.
“When people are getting infected in such large numbers in Delhi and in all other parts of the country, then it should have been accepted that there has been community spread. ICMR and the Central government can only tell (if there has been community spread),” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what I believe, I am not technically competent in this matter to tell you, technically, that this is community spread… But I can say that there is spread in the community. Community spread is a technical term about which only scientists can tell,” he said.
Community spread or community transmission is when the source of infection is unknown, meaning that one is unable to trace an infection back to a carrier of the virus, that is, a person who became sick with the virus after travelling to an affected place or through contact with someone who had the disease.
The minister added that in the last 10-12 days, the government has increased testing capacity in Delhi and a downward trend in the positivity rate of the virus was being noted since the past two-three days. “By next week, we should get good results,” Jain said.
He added that in the last five days, 500 ICU beds have been added in private hospitals for Covid patients and more would be added in the coming days in both private and government hospitals.
He said that more than 50% of hospital beds were empty in Delhi at present and the total bed capacity in the city now stands at about 15,000. About testing, Jain said every individual in Delhi who wants to get tested for the virus is able to do so, and that the requirement for a doctor’s prescription for a RT-PCR test has also been scrapped.
“In the current system, symptomatic cases are segregated and tested (through rapid antigen test). In most cases, such results are found positive. If the result is negative, then RT-PCR test is also done,” the minister said.
He added that in a recent Delhi Disaster Management Authority meeting, it was discussed that the government’s strategy for containment zones would be reviewed through an expert.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines