Indian Health Ministry officials maintain there has been no solid evidence of community transmission of COVID-19 in the country as of yet and the infection appeared to be relatively stabilising considering the rate at which it was increasing, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
"While the numbers of COVID-19 cases are increasing, there appears to be relatively a stable trend or even little bit reduction in the rate at which they are increasing," said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health, at a press conference yesterday.
The total number of coronavirus cases across India, which is in the third day of a three-week lockdown, soared to 724 while the death toll stands at 17, according to Health Ministry figures today morning.
Agarwal said the ministry is hopeful of containing the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing policy, conducting proper contact tracing of positive cases and ensuring that all people in home quarantine are monitored.
He said the community transmission phase of the disease will begin if the community and the government do not work collectively and follow the set guidelines of social distancing, home quarantine and treatment.
Commenting over the cases reported in Hyderabad and Bhilwada, Raman R Gangakhedkar, head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at Indian Council of Medical Research, said "Going by one or two cases, we cannot say there has been community transmission. Also, why should we hide if there has been a community transmission?"
"There is still no solid evidence to say there has been community transmission of coronavirus in India," he added.