The Coronavirus pandemic has created global unrest since its inception in late December and it is believed that this is going to get worse. On Monday, the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that while it took 67 days for Covid-19 cases to reach the 100,000 mark globally, it took only 11 days for cases to reach 200,000 and just four to reach 300,000.
Yes, that’s how fast the number of Covid-19 cases are increasing.
While countries like China, Italy and Iran are believed to be the hub of most of these affected cases, we Indians aren’t as scared as the numbers haven’t even touched a four digit mark. But that day might not be far. Within two days, the number of affected cases has almost doubled up and some experts believe that India now might have reached the second last stage of the deadly virus.
What does that mean? Well, according to the researchers there are four stages of the Novel Coronavirus and India is currently believed to be at Stage 2.
Stage 1: The first stage is when the virus affected people carry out the virus into the other country which was not the source of the infection.
Stage 2: The second stage of the virus is when there are cases of local transmissions from the infected person. This means that local residents are infected from their family members or friends who have a travel history from the countries that had an outbreak. In local transmission, the number of people affected is lesser, the source of the virus is known and is also easier to be traced.
Stage 3: This is when community transmission takes place and large areas get affected. Community transmission is when a patient is neither exposed to any infected person nor has travelled to any of the affected countries that tests positive.
At this stage, it is difficult to identify where the person got the virus from. Italy and Spain are Stage 3. It is an indication that the undiagnosed and likely asymptomatic carriers are spreading it, and makes breaking the chain of transmission increasingly tough.
Stage 4: This is the stage that defines what happened in China. The fourth stage occurs when an infection becomes endemic in some countries and keeps resurfacing round the year, like malaria and dengue in India.
Until March 21st, it was believed that India stood at Stage 2 and by identifying people with travel history and social distancing the citizens would keep the situation under control. But, some recent cases of persons who tested positive for Covid-19 have raised concerns. On Saturday, A 57-year old resident of West Bengal and a woman in her early 40s in Pune without any travel history were tested positive for the virus and the chain of the infection hasn’t been traced yet. Except the fact that the woman had travelled to Navi Mumbai for a wedding.
Recently, a 20-year old barber in UP who had travelled to Chennai via train, was diagnosed positive but the government couldn’t trace the chain of contact of the infection. The state health ministry in fact had issued a statement stating the possibility of "community transmission" in Agra, the scientists although have disagreed with the assessment. Even in the case of the death of a 63-year old in Mumbai due to Covid-19, pointed towards the likelihood of community transmission.
However, it is widely believed that India is still at the second stage of the pandemic but the instances state otherwise. It is quite possible that India has already reached the third stage and we all might soon become more vulnerable to the virus.