India

COVID-19: India’s not staring at community spread, says ICMR

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Amid the coronavirus scare in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday asserted that there is “no proof” whatsoever of its possible spread across communities in India.

“Till date, 826 samples of people suffering from severe acute respiratory infections and influenza-like illnesses have been tested at the sites. No sample was found positive,” ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava told media here.

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Dr Lokesh, who is Public Relations Officer at the Centre's apex medical research body, told IANS: “The samples of patients admitted in hospitals are collected randomly by our officials. Here random suggests individuals admitted in hospitals with other diseases, but showing some symptoms of respiratory problems. There is a designated criteria under which the samples are collected. Such samples were collected for over a week and tested negative.”

He said: “We continue to test people with a history of travel abroad and who all have came inn contact with these people. Besides, community testing is on. There are also some people admitted in hospitals with neither travel history nor contact with those who have visited foreign lands. But they have certain symptoms. We have taken their samples too. Their results will be out soon.”

As of Thursday morning, India reported 148 coronavirus positive cases with three casualties. Fifteen patients have recovered so far.

–IANS

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