Focus: GS-III Disaster Management, Science and Technology
Why in news?
- Senior scientists and health officials have said that India currently is showing no evidence of any community transmission and that enough tests were being done to pick up any early indication of third stage transmission.
- So far there is no evidence for the need to go in for mass testing.
India’s Handling of the Spread
- India started proactive action from January 17 onwards, whereas our first cases came in the end of January.
- The country had put in early measures to ensure that transmission stays localised and any indications otherwise are picked up.
- ICMR will be getting the results of their Random Sampling by 18th March 2020, which will give an idea of where we are headed.
Stages of spread of Coronavirus
There are Four states of the spread of the disease:
- Stage 1 is getting imported cases
- Stage 2 is local transmission
- Stage 3 is community transmission
- Stage 4 is when it turns into an epidemic.
Is India not testing enough?
- Several experts have noted that India isn’t testing enough, which could be the reason for its relatively low number of COVID-19 cases, while also exposing the country to an outbreak.
- Currently, 63 laboratories (62 Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratories and 1 National Centre for Disease Control) are functioning to test COVID-19, and nine laboratories are expected to start functioning shortly.
- The ICMR has also noted that it has intensified random sample testing of people who display flu-like symptoms but don’t have a travel history to any of the coronavirus-hit countries.
Does the spread of Virus slow down because of Summer?
Since the virus hasn’t seen many seasons, we cannot say conclusively that the virus will slow down with higher temperature.