While the deadly COVID-19 bares its fang and brings the entire country to a standstill, it has been revealed by the health ministry that India is still battling Stage 2 of the Coronavirus outbreak, and that the pandemic hasn't quite reached Stage 3 just yet.
The overall count of Coronavirus cases in India has reached 148, with Maharashtra being the most affected with as many as 42 cases. In addition to the update, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has also increased the number of Coronavirus testing labs, with global experts concurring that 'Test, test, test!' must be the mantra for countries.
The four stages of an outbreak:
At stage 1, only those who have brought the pathogen from foreign shores are affected.
At stage 2, those who have imported the pathogen transmit it to those whom they come into contact with - relatives, acquaintances, and locals
At stage 3, communities are at risk, as locals who have no history of travelling to places where the outbreak has taken place end up contracting the disease, and it isn't immediately possible to say where they caught it from.
At stage 4, the outbreak has virtually become endemic, with an end-point uncertain
1. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stand at 142
2. No proof of community transmission has been found yet.
3. The criteria for testing remains the same.
4. Only symptomatic cases to be tested by the designated health facilities
5. 121 testing laboratories to be functional by March 21, 2020
6. 51 NABL labs can also test for Coronavirus, if prescribed by the government
7. Private laboratories to start testing soon which will enable more efficiency
8. The central government has appealed to the private-run labs to run the tests for free to increase the level of convenience for the citizens.
9. 1 million testing kits to be ordered from Germany.
10. Government offices to be shut for 7 days, from Mar 18 till March 25
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which is the apex body for the coordination, formulation, and promotion of biometrical research, also informs that 49 additional laboratories and organizations like CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) DRDO ( Defence Research and Development Organisation), (Department of Biotechnology) DBT to be activated by the end of this week.
So far the council has equipped as many as 72 laboratories to test for the pandemic disease. ICMR will be setting up two testing locations, NCR and Bhubaneswar for high throughput diagnostic systems for exponentially increasing rapid diagnosing of Covid-19. The systems can test up to 1400 samples per day. They are also having dialogues with high-quality private labs to understand the modalities of increasing access to prepare for the future