Search for community transmission begins, all samples negative

Published on Mar 30, 2020 09:20 PM IST

Doctors started investigations at King George’s Medical University here to cross-check the possibility of community transmission of the coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh, but all the samples tested negative in this connection, officials said.

The investigation was carried out by testing samples of patients afflicted with other severe illnesses that make them vulnerable to the Covid-19 infection.
The investigation was carried out by testing samples of patients afflicted with other severe illnesses that make them vulnerable to the Covid-19 infection.
Hindustan Times, Lucknow | By, Lucknow

Doctors started investigations at King George’s Medical University here to cross-check the possibility of community transmission of the coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh, but all the samples tested negative in this connection, officials said.

No instance of community transmission had been reported in Uttar Pradesh so far, said Dr Vikasendu Agrawal, state surveillance officer in the health department.

The investigation was carried out by testing samples of patients afflicted with other severe illnesses that make them vulnerable to the Covid-19 infection.

“We (KGMU department of respiratory medicine) have tested samples of five patients suffering from pneumonia/asthma, included by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) in the category of patients vulnerable to Covid-19 infection,” said Prof Surya Kant, head of the department of respiratory medicine at KGMU.

ICMR guidelines say patients of SARI (Severe Acute Respiratory Illness) such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, and interstitial lung disease, besides diabetes, heart, liver, kidney diseases, pneumonia and the elderly are the other vulnerable groups.

Nine samples each were tested in the departments of paediatrics and medicine. All of them were negative.

“Sampling has also been done at the departments of medicine and paediatrics. Till now, all samples have tested negative, which says no community transmission,” said Prof Surya Kant.

ICMR had got 500 samples tested at random in the second week of March across India and said there was no community transmission but now fresh guidelines had come, said Prof Surya Kant.

The state health officials said they were now looking at the option of screening people to ensure community transmission, if any in the state, should come to knowledge at the earliest.

“There are ICMR guidelines on this. We are strictly following them. We are now also looking at other options that might be essential on a regional basis, owing to different demographic conditions/situations,” said Dr Vikasendu Agrawal, state surveillance officer in the health department.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gaurav Saigal is principal correspondent and has over 10 years of experience. Has reported from Varanasi and Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh with Hindustan Times. In Lucknow he covers health, medical education and also writes on transport. Has been reporting on outstation political and special assignments. Piror to HT has worked for agency and websites.

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