Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Monday asked what was the issue with the Centre in admitting that there was a community spread of COVID-19, even though lakhs of positive cases have been reported in the national capital. His remarks, in response to a query at a press conference, come a day after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said community transmission of the coronavirus is restricted to certain districts in a limited number of states, clarifying that “this is not happening across the country".
The national capital recorded 31 COVID-19 fatalities on Monday, taking the death toll to 6,040, while 2,154 fresh cases took the infection tally to over 3.33 lakh. “I have been saying it for months. And, despite such a large number of positive cases, I don’t know what is their issue, they (Centre) can admit it clearly. If positive cases coming in lakhs are not termed community spread, when will it be called a community spread. Never saw positive cases in such a large number," Jain told reporters.
The Delhi health minister also asserted that the sero-prevalance survey in September found that 25 per cent of the sampled people had anti-bodies to COVID-19, meaning around 50 lakh people got affected and cured. “So, they (Centre) will know what is their problem in admitting that there is a community spread," he said.
Health ministry officials had said the World Health Organisation has not given any standard definition of community transmission. The WHO permits its member-nations to assess the spread of the disease, based on their own analysis of the situation, and do their reporting, which the global body shows on its website. On the ongoing October sero-prevalance survey, Jain said it started on October 15 and will go on for a few more days.
The Delhi minister also asserted that the COVID-19 situation in the national capital was “better" than what it was a month or so ago. “The peak of cases seems to have got a bit lowered," he said.
On the festival season approaching and the chances of infection spread, Jain said, “I would once again appeal to people to wear masks and maintain social distancing, in markets and elsewhere, to contain the spread of infection". Asked if there was any shortage of blood in its banks, he said, “Plasma is the main thing required for COVID-19 patient, blood bank situation is fine as of now".
“Also of the total number of beds at our disposal, only 30 per cent is occupied," he added.