India readies for Stage 3 transmission as Coronavirus cases cross 800


NATIONAL | MARCH 28, 2020:

The number of coronavirus cases in India have seen a sharp rise this month. The total number of positive cases stands at 873, while the death toll is at 19. The administration is leaving no stone unturned in bolstering its response against Covid-19.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health as well as members of Covid-19 task force maintain that the community transmission of coronavirus is not happening at the moment, however, preparations to tackle such a situation have already begun.

On Friday, in a press briefing, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his administration is equipped to handle 100 Covid-19 cases in a day. He said that the Delhi government is now working on the plan to tackle stage 3 of Covid-19 outbreak.

"At present, things are under control, but in case it slips out of hand where the number of cases increases exponentially, we have to be ready with all the arrangements. The 5-member committee of doctors – which was set up to give us an action plan that would kick in if the city enters stage 3 of the coronavirus spread – has submitted its report," he said.

Kejriwal said the panel has recommended an action plan in three stages. Stage 1 where the number of patients is 100 per day, stage 2 where the number of patients is 500 per day and stage 3 when the number of patients is 1,000 per day.

"Delhi is prepared till stage 1. This means, if we start getting 100 coronavirus patients per day, our hospitals will be able to take the load. What we are now preparing for a scenario where the number of patients is 500 or 1,000 every day. The requirement of isolation beds, ventilators, ICU beds, testing kits and tests to be conducted, ambulances, doctors, nurses, their transportation and accommodation – everything is being worked out. We have the SoP ready now. We are already working on a plan for a stage if have 1,000 patients a day. Hope such a situation does not arise," the chief minister said.

On Friday, Odisha expressed concern that the coronavirus could be advancing towards community transmission in the state. This comes after a 60-year-old man with no recent travel history tested positive.

"Now, with the third confirmed case having no foreign travel history, we see a possibility of the outbreak moving into Stage-III, which is community transmission," Odisha's COVID-19 chief spokesman Subroto Bagchi said.

Stage 1 of the outbreak is in case of only getting cases coming from abroad. It advances to State 2 when the disease transmission happens in people from a known source. Stage 3 is when the source of the infection is not known and becomes difficult to trace.

India is also looking to expand its testing facilities by opening gates to private laboratories to carry out testing and increase the number of tests done daily.