September 23, 2020 9:14:25 pm
India has reported large outbreaks of COVID-19 in certain districts and only 10 states are currently contributing to 75 per cent of the active cases in the country, which suggests that coronavirus is still limited in its spread, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a query in Lok Sabha on whether there is community transmission of COVID-19 in the country, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said the current phase of the pandemic in India is on multiple trajectories across urban and semi-urban areas of the country.
The epidemic curve of any pandemic goes through an ascending, peaking and descending phase, he said.
“India has reported large outbreaks in certain districts indicating the spread of infection in those districts. Only 10 states are currently contributing to 75 per cent of active cases in the country, which suggests that COVID is still limited in spread,” the minister said.
India has one of the lowest cases and deaths per million population among similarly affected countries. This is further corroborated by the fact that the nationwide sero-prevalence for COVID-19 conducted in May 2020, was found to be less than 1 per cent, Choubey said.
The top 10 states with most active cases as on September 20 are Maharashtra 2,97,866 (29.47 per cent), Karnataka 98,583 (9.75 pc), Andhra Pradesh 81,763 (8.09 pc), Uttar Pradesh 66,874 ( 6.62pc), Tamil Nadu 46,453 (4.60 pc), Kerala 37,535 (3.71pc), Chhattisgarh 37,489 (3.71 pc), Odisha 33,202 (3.28 pc, Delhi 32,064 (3.17 pc) and Telangana 30,573 (3.02 pc), the minister said.
The Government of India has adopted a containment strategy for containing the spread of COVID-19 by suppressing and breaking the cycle of transmission in the country, Choubey said.
Elaborating on that, he said containment plans envisage a strategy of breaking the chain of transmission by defining containment and buffer zones, applying strict perimeter control, intensive active house-to-house search for cases and contacts, isolation and testing of suspected cases and high-risk contacts and quarantine of high-risk contacts among others.
In all public health institutions under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health, COVID-19 tests such as RT-PCR, Truenat, CBNAAT and rapid-antigen are done free of cost. the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also provided COVID-19 testing reagents to all states and union territories free of cost.
“As health is a state subject, the Ministry of Health has also written to all states/UTs to negotiate with private laboratories and fix up mutually agreeable prices for samples being sent by the government and also for private individuals desirous of testing by these laboratories,” the minister underlined.
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