Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: When the country for the first time in history is going to witness a Janta curfew tomorrow (Sunday, Mar 22), the very fact of local transmission cases spiralling up has come as a big concern. Also worrying are news of high-profile persons from Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor to the son of a senior functionary at AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, have given a go by to the policy of self quarantine.

According to an analysis, the local transmission of coronavirus in the country has spiralled up during the last week (March 15- 21). This is alarming because a high rate of local transmission may make the country doubly vulnerable to community transmission. 

Now, sample this - for the period of Feb 1 - Mar 15, 2020 (in a span of 44-days), the total novel coronavirus positive cases recorded in India were at 108. And the proportion of imported Covid-19 cases (foreign nationals + Indians returned from abroad) stood at a whopping 75 per cent and the share of local transmission (local persons who acquired it through contacts with nCoV positives having a foreign travel history) was at mere 25 per cent.

Big shift:

During the small span of Mar 15 - Mar 21, the total novel coronavirus positive counts in the country clocked to a high of 179. The proportion of local transmission has ballooned to a humungous 58 per cent; whereas the share of imported cases shrunk to 42 per cent.

The analysis shows how the local transmission of Covid-19 is growing rapidly in the country. The share has more than doubled.

In contrast, the share of imported novel coronavirus cases almost nearly halved during the same period.

Significantly, this seems the only plausible reason behind the country recording its highest ever single day spike in Covid-19 cases on March 20 (Friday), when it had recorded a massive 55 cases. In the last 15-hours, 42 new Covid-19 positives detected across the country.

Another big worry has been the case of a Tamil Nadu man, who was detected Covid-19 positive recently. The identified Covid-19 positive case neither has any foreign travel history nor any such contact with nCoV positive. The only clue is he travelled from Delhi, a high burden state, to TN via train. The case history of the TN man hints at  the possibility of he having acquired the novel coronavirus during his train journey.

As the Covid-19 count rises very fast,  the ICMR has issued a new advisory for Covid-19 testing. Now, Covid-19 test of all hospitalised patients with severe Acute respiratory illness (SARI) will be conducted.

In this context of growing enormity, governments all over, including Odisha, have enforced lockdowns and PM Modi himself has appealed to the people to observe Janta curfew tomorrow on March 22.

COVID-19 Latest Tally:

*Total cases till mid-day in the country stood at 294

*Total active cases totalled to 267

*Nil Covid-19 recovery cases reported during the period of Mar 17 - Mar 21.

*No new deaths during last 48 hours.


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