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Covid-19: Health ministry says India is facing the local transmission and limited community transmission


No Community Transmission of Coronavirus infection yet Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal reiterated on Monday said that there has been no community transmission and instead of panicking, stressed on the need to create a The ministry, however, in its Standard Operating Procedure issued on Sunday for transporting a COVID-19 case, had mentioned the current phase of the pandemic as “local transmission and limited community transmission”.

Mumbai: There has been no community transmission of Covid-19 virus infections in the country yet, the Union health ministry reiterated on Monday. The clarification comes soon after it released on Sunday a document on standard operating procedures (SOP) for transporting a Covid-19 case, which described India as being currently in the phase of “local transmission” and “limited community transmission”.
However, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, said the word “community” has been used in a “limited context”

Local transmission

Let me re-explain, we have to come out of this semantics… we have used the word in a very limited context in a way to highlight the action we are going to do on field. Nowhere we have said that there is a community transmission. We are still in a local transmission in this country,” he said on Monday. Randeep Guleria, who is the director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has a different view.

Guleria, who is also the chairman of the high level expert committee formed by the Indian Council of Medical Research to review the testing strategy for Covid-19 cases, said that sporadic cases with no travel history have been seen in the country. This shows there is community transmission of some degree, The health ministry’s SOP document for transporting a suspected or confirmed Covid-19 case states that “this SOP is applicable to the current phase of Covid-19 pandemic in India Its SOP reference also deviates somewhat from what the ICMR has been saying about the outbreak up to this point. During a media briefing on Saturday, the ICMR had refuted the possibility of community transmission at the moment.

India’s nodal health research body has so far maintained that the country is only facing local transmission of the virus as of now. We have just started testing SARI cases. There are some sporadic instances where cases have not revealed any history of exposure. But the numbers are not so exponential that we conclude that the virus is spreading rapidly,” he said.

Limited community transmission

The ICMR had even urged the media to not overinterpret things. It is all dependent on a person’s memory and also whether they want to reveal their history or not. Some people didn’t even reveal that they tested positive while others hid their travel history. Till we see a significant number of cases to indicate community transmission, let us not overinterpret things,” Gangakhedkar added. To be sure, earlier this month the ICMR had said that “community transmission” of the virus was “inevitable”, although it had not happened yet. The Centre has said there is no proof of community transmission so far in India even as the number of Covid-19 cases rose to 606 with 10 reported deaths. The observation is based on an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) study of 2,000 samples collected randomly. ”

Stage 3 and stage 4

Stage-1is imported cases where those who travelled to other countries have contracted the infection. Stage-2 is local transmission in which people coming in immediate contact of an infected person report infection. Stage-3 is called ‘community transmission’ when a person who has no travel history has contracted through domestic sources. Stage-4 is when a disease is declared an epidemic. The government has consistently denied that India has reached stage-3. 

The government, however, sounded a note of caution as the number of Covid-19 cases rose to 606 on Wednesday. When asked to explain the trend of Covid-19 cases, Agarwal said, “We are seeing an increasing trend. Our action has always been pre-emptive. Seeing this trend, our action is also increasing. Hopefully, we will be able to arrest this trend with lockdown”.


A group of ministers () under health minister Harsh Vardhan met on Wednesday to discuss preparedness. The discussed creating dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, equipping the medical institutes with personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other essential equipment

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