Over nine months after India reported the first known case of coronavirus, the Centre has now admitted to community transmission of Covid-19 in the country. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said community transmission of the coronavirus infection is restricted to certain districts in a limited number of states. He further clarified that community transmission is not happening across the country. Though the Centre has so far denied community transmission of Covid-19 in India, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had confirmed community transmission in the state in July. Poonthura and Pullivila were the two coastal hamlets that, as the CM confirmed, saw community transmission. Assam,too, hinted at community transmission during July-August.
The minister made the statement during an interaction with his social media followers on the sixth episode of “Sunday Samvaad”. Vardhan was responding to a question from a participant, who cited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s remark about instances of community transmission in Bengal. The participant asked the minister which are the states that have witnessed community transmission of the disease. “In different pockets across various states, including West Bengal, community transmission of COVID-19 is expected to occur, especially in densely-populated areas. However, this is not happening across the country. Community transmission is limited to certain districts, occurring in a limited number of states,” Vardhan said. He added that as yet, no mutation of the coronavirus has been detected in India that is either more transmission-efficient or more pathogenic. The Centre so far has denied community transmission of the coronavirus infection in the country. Health ministry officials had said the World Health Organization (WHO) has not given any standard definition of community transmission.