The young man used to work at a salon. He had reached Chennai by travelling on a train from Delhi on March 12. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Tamil Nadu has recorded the second case of coronavirus infection. What's worrying the officials is that the 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh had no travel history or came in contact with any COVID-19 patient. This case has sparked the community transmission fears. He had travelled from Delhi to Tamil Nadu in search of a job. The young man used to work at a salon. He had reached Chennai by travelling on a train from Delhi on March 12. He was staying with a friend and was looking for a job. On March 16, he developed flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, fever and cough. His first test at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital came out negative. But the second test for which his throat swabs were sent to Guindy's King Institute of Preventive Medicine was reported to be positive. He has been kept in an isolated ward at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. "The patient hails from Delhi, is in isolation and stable is under the observation of the expert team treating Covid19," tweeted Tamil Nadu health minister Dr C Vijayabaskar. (Covid-19 LIVE UPDATES)
So what exactly is community transmission and why experts are worried? To begin with, one needs to understand the stages of a pandemic to grasp the gravity of the situation. Stage 1 involves most of the case being reported by those who have returned from the outbreak zone. That was in the first week of January when India reported the first cases of people who had travelled from China or Dubai. Then comes Stage 2. This means people getting infected by those who imported the disease via travel to the affected nations. The localisation of the disease is the most alarming thing. India is at this stage at present. There have been cases of people testing positive after coming in contact with Covid-19 patients. Then comes the most crucial stage i.e. Stage 3. This is called community transmission. This means a larger group getting infected locally.
The Uttar Pradesh resident's zero travel history has sent the authorities in overdrive to trace all the people he came in contact with. Though officially, no one has confirmed it to be a case of community transmission, the fact of the matter is that a man with no travel abroad is now infected with the coronavirus. The officials say that they are finding out whether 20-year-old had come in contact with any foreigner. Experts at ICMR say that India has 100 days before coronavirus pandemic can affect larger communities. It is therefore absolutely necessary to go for aggressive random samplings to detect community transmission at the nascent level.
Meanwhile, for the first time after the deadly coronavirus broke out about three months ago in Wuhan, China on Thursday said that no new domestic cases of the COVID-19 were confirmed, including in the virus'' epicentre, even as eight more fatalities have been reported, taking the death toll in the country to 3,245. China's National Health Commission (NHC) in its daily report said that no new domestically transmitted cases of the novel coronavirus disease were reported on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday.
However, a total of 34 new COVID-19 cases were reported on the Chinese mainland on Wednesday, all of which were from those arriving from abroad, marking a sharp increase, it said. Of the 34 newly imported cases, 21 were reported in Beijing, nine in Guangdong Province, two in Shanghai, one in Heilongjiang Province and one in Zhejiang Province, the NHC said. Capital of the central Hubei Province Wuhan, which bore the brunt of the coronavirus since the outbreak originated in December last year, also reported zero cases on Wednesday, marking a notable first in the city's months-long battle with the deadly virus.
(With agency inputs)