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The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has hinted the possibility of community transmission of coronavirus in some clusters of the country.

According to a report published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), a total of 5,911 SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illnesses) patients were tested for COVID-19 between February 15 and April 2.

Out of the 5911 SARI patients, 104 tested positive for COVID-19 and these cases were reported from 52 districts in 21 States /Union Territories.

At least 40 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 didn’t have any foreign travel history or any connection with a foreign traveller and these cases were reported from 36 Indian districts in 15 states.

The report said, “These districts need to be prioritised to target Covid-19 containment activities. Only two cases (two per cent of those tested positive) reported contact with a confirmed case, one case (one per cent of those tested positive) reported recent international travel, and, for about 59 such cases (57.8 per cent), exposure history was not available.”

The majority of the SARI patients tested were from Gujarat (792), Tamil Nadu (577), Maharashtra (553) and Kerala (502).

COVID-19 containment activities need to be targeted in districts reporting COVID-19 cases among SARI patients, the reports concludes.

Intensifying sentinel surveillance for COVID-19 among SARI patients may be an efficient tool to effectively use resources towards containment and mitigation efforts, it added.


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