‘Of the 220 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in Maha, 87% asymptomatic’Updated: Mar 31, 2020 20:33 IST
According to the state health department, of the 220 patients diagnosed with Covid-19 in Maharashtra till March 30, 87% were asymptomatic and in 13% of the cases, the source of infection is unknown. However, doctors say there is no reason to suspect community-based transmission in the state. Covid-19 is caused by the Sars-Cov-2 virus.
Doctors say the number of Covid-positive cases has doubled in Maharashtra in the last 10 days because of better reporting of asymptomatic patients. “Due to restrictions imposed on travel, most of the new infections are caused from close contacts. The surge in number does not indicate community transmission but gradual identification of asymptomatic ones,” said Dr Sundeep Salvi, director, Chest Research Foundation.
In Jaslok Hospital, a nurse tested positive for Covid-19 after attending to a patient who had no international travel history and was being treated for a different illness. The patient was asymptomatic for Covid-19 and later tested positive for Sars-Cov-2. In a similar incident, a 40-year-old housewife with no travel history and no symptoms of Covid-19 died on Saturday at King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital. Her swab test report came in after her death and confirmed she had Covid-19.
Doctors suggest running more tests to identify asymptomatic patients. “The incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 is 14 days so gradually, the number of cases will start coming out. The asymptomatic patients will gradually start showing symptoms. But we need a faster process to identify these patients,” said city-based epidemiologist Dr Om Srivastava.
To this end, the state is trying to procure more test kits. “We are trying to get kits from all over the world, including China who were our primary source of supply. But manufacturers need to overcome their economic loss before they can start resupplying us,” said Anup Kumar Yadav, commissioner, National Health Mission.