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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 24 October 2021 9.21 PM IST

WHO admits error, says has cluster of cases in India and not community transmission

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NEW DELHI: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has admitted an error in its "situation report" on the coronavirus spread in countries that showed India at the stage of community transmission. The organization has told NDTV that the error has been fixed. India has a cluster of cases and not community transmission, WHO has said.

While the India column in the report had said "community transmission", China, the first country where COVID-19 erupted late last year, showed a "cluster of cases".

India has 6,412 cases of coronavirus, including 199 deaths. Thirty-three deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours.

The government has firmly denied that the country is in Stage 3 or community transmission, which is when the infections escalate and it is difficult to trace the source.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move to order a 21-day lockdown has helped slow the spread of coronavirus, believe officials and experts. Even this morning, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a meeting with diplomats that "so far, there is no community transmission" in India. He said of nearly 600 districts, 400 were unaffected by COVID-19 and 133 districts are hotspots.

Friday marks 100 days since WHO was notified of the first cases of "pneumonia with unknown cause" in China.

According to WHO, the transmission scenarios - no confirmed cases, sporadic cases, clusters of cases, and community transmission - "are self-reported" by member states.

WHO calls it community transmission when countries experience a large number of cases not linked to transmission chains and multiple unrelated clusters in several areas.

An official of the Health Ministry, who has tackled questions on community transmission almost daily during briefings, had said that if India fell into the next stage of the outbreak, it would not be concealed.

"We can consider that we are in the community transmission stage only when there are about 20 to 30 per cent cases with no clue on how they got the virus," said Lav Aggarwal, joint secretary, Health Ministry.

"If India enters that stage, we will not hide it," Aggarwal said recently.

Worldwide, COVID-19 has infected 1.6 million people and caused over 95,000 deaths.

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TAGS: WHO ADMITS, ERROR, CLUSTER OF CASE, INDIA, NOT COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION
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