What is community transmission of Covid-19 and how can Janta Curfew help prevent it

Updated on Mar 22, 2020 07:21 AM IST

The Janta Curfew has been announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fight the spread of deadly coronavirus disease Covid-19.

People gather outside Mandi House Metro station in New Delhi with a notice about Janta Curfew on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
People gather outside Mandi House Metro station in New Delhi with a notice about Janta Curfew on Sunday.(PTI Photo)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

India is observing a 14-hour self quarantine today to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease Covid-19. Named Janta Curfew by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this exercise is voluntary and helps in prevention of community transmission of the Sars-CoV-2 virus.

Community transmission occurs when a person with no travel history to a Covid-19-affected country or known contact with a confirmed case tests positive for the disease. It indicates undiagnosed and often asymptomatic people are unknowingly causing infection, which makes it difficult to break the chain of transmission.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been conducting community surveillance by lifting random samples from intensive care unit (ICU) patients suffering from severe acute respiratory infections (SARI), including severe pneumonia. These samples are taken from people with no travel history or contact with a positive patient.

The Janta Curfew seeks to break this chain as the people will remain indoors during this period. This means they will not step out of the house, not even for a morning walk or an evening stroll or for buying rations or other stuff. It is to ensure that people do not come in contact with any person outside who could be a carrier of the virus.

“As #JantaCurfew, people’s movement begins, I pledge to strictly follow PM @narendramodi ji’s call. I also urge my fellow countrymen to participate. Let’s break the chain and protect our nation against this pandemic with social distancing and self isolation,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted on Sunday morning. 

The Prime Minister on Thursday called for Janta Curfew on March 22 from 7 am to 9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of house.

He also said that at 5 pm on March 22, “we should thank people like doctors, medical personnel, cleaning staff, for their service during the coronavirus outbreak”.

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