A top health official in the Telangana government has hinted at community transmission of coronavirus having begun in the state, urging people to exercise utmost care and not neglect symptoms. The state’s Health Minister, however, has denied community spread of COVID-19.
“The next four to five weeks are going to be very crucial and people must exercise utmost care and not neglect symptoms,” Dr G Srinivasa Rao, Telangana’s Director of Public Health, said.
“The virus has gone into the community and it is now very difficult to track the path of the virus,” the health official said.
Community transmission, or Stage 3 of a pandemic, is marked by cases that cannot be traced to any source of infection.
India has reported over 12 lakh COVID-19 cases so far, including over 29,000 deaths. The country is on the third spot on the list of worst coronavirus-hit nations. The centre, however, has not declared that the country has entered the community transmission stage.
Telangana Health Minister Etala Rajender subsequently denied the statement of the public health director and said the number of cases in Telangana was about 1,500 per day and it did not point to community transmission.
The public health director’s warning came on a day when Telangana’s COVID-19 cases crossed the 50,000-mark. There were 1,567 new cases reported and nine deaths. The state’s tally stands at 50,826, including 447 deaths.
The state’s recovery rate – the number of patients who have successfully fought the viral illness – stands at 77.3 per cent.
Telangana’s Director of Medical Education, Ramesh Reddy, said there were 1,000 health personnel among the 50,000 who have tested positive in the state. He said petitions being filed in court were demotivating the health personnel. He said those without symptoms should desist from getting themselves tested repeatedly.