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Current Affairs

Community transmission stage of covid-19

Date: 27 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

India has acknowledged during the third wave that the Covid-19 pandemic is now in community transmission stage.

 

Background

Previously, India never acknowledged that the disease had spread in the community. This is the first time India has officially accepted the fact.

 

Details

  • Community transmission is a stage where it becomes difficult to establish the chain of infections, or determine who infected whom. 

  • In early stages, the infection is carried by travelers and they transmit it to their contacts. The infection can be linked, directly or through a chain, to these travelers.

  • As more people get infected, it becomes difficult to determine the origin as some people may be asymptomatic.

  • Soon, the chain of transmission gets lost and the origin cannot be traced. The infections become locally acquired.

 

WHO guidelines

  • Community transmission is a final stage. There are three more stages classified by WHO. They are no active cases, sporadic cases and cluster of cases.

  • India has till now maintained that it was in second category, where there were clusters of cases arising in the country.

 

Implication

  • The accepted community transmission will have implications for deciding containment strategies and response measures to deal with the epidemic.

  • The admission is largely an academic one and will not trigger any change in the kind of response measures that are being taken at the central, state or local levels.

 

Way ahead

Containment strategy would not work in such cases. It would be better to focus attention on surveillance, with the objective of keeping an eye on future dangerous mutations.