New Delhi [India], July 19 (ANI): Concurring with the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Dr Arvind Kumar, the Chairman of the Centre for Chest Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital on Sunday said that he was 100 per cent sure that there is community transmission in the country and that it has been there for quite some time.
Speaking to ANI, Kumar said, "Community transmission has been there for quite some time. It was localised to pockets, for instance in Dharavi and several areas of Delhi, almost the whole community which was involved. There were some cases where you could clearly pinpoint the contact and there were many where you could not pinpoint the contact and it was happening. These were pockets for community transmission but no crisscross community. However, today, the infection has spread across the country."
"So I would 100 per cent agree with the assessment of the IMA that there is community transmission in the country today, but that's not something which should come as a surprise. The way the cases are rising in the country, it is there for everyone to see. So, it is not a new discovery. The IMA has only stated it for everyone to see," added Dr Arvind Kumar.
Earlier while speaking to ANI, Dr V K Monga, the Chairman of the IMA Hospital Board of India had said that community spread has started and the situation was bad.
Speaking about the rising cases in India, he said, "More important than the total number of cases is the percentage of infectivity. Initially, when we started across the country, about four to five per cent of the total samples were turning out to be positive. Then it rose to 6 per cent and then to 8 per cent in the last two weeks of June. In the first two weeks of July, it has actually crossed 10 per cent, now that is a sign of worry that there are more and more infections in the society."
"If the infection was constant, with the increase in the number of tests, the percentage of positivity should go down but as the number of tests is increasing, the percentage of positivity is increasing and that means the total volume of the cases in the society is increasing although a large number of people are recovering too. If you look at 11-lakh odd cases, there are more cases that have recovered than active cases," the doctor said.
"We must accept at the same time over 26,000 accepted and declared deaths are there and the actual number may actually be higher than that. So a huge number of lives have been lost and we are still not past the peak of this infection. So we ultimately don't know where this figure will go and stop. We are in a serious situation," added Dr Kumar.
Dr Kumar said that hotspots are emerging in a sequential manner rather than the whole country becoming a hotspot at the same time.
"Importantly rural pockets of our country, about four to six weeks ago, were unaffected but because of the cross-country migration, those areas are getting affected. Now the whole country is actually affected. We are having hotspots emerging in a sequential manner rather than the whole country becoming a hotspot at the same time," said Dr Kumar.
According to the ministry of health and family welfare, a total number of COVID-19 positive cases stand at 10,77,618, including 3,73,379 active cases, 6,77,423 cured/discharged/migrated and 26,816 deaths.
"The way 50 lakh people crisscrossed the country when the virus was on a rampage, this kind of community spread was very much on the cards and it is now there," Dr. Arvind observed. (ANI)