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Govt says India not in stage-3 of coronavirus infections

New Delhi, March 29, 2020: The government on Saturday said India had registered 150 new coronavirus cases including four deaths since Friday with the total number of positive cases reaching 1000, but ruled out the existence of any concrete evidence of the country having progressed to stage-3 of virus transmissions, also defined as the community-transmission phase.

The information was given during the central health ministry’s routine briefing on the pandemic on Saturday.


“We will not over-interpret the situation unless there is significant evidence of people getting infected,” said Dr R Ganga Ketkar, a senior official with India’s medical research body, ICMR.

However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) maintains that there is no reason to panic at the moment. On Saturday, the ICMR announced that the medical body was changing the criteria for testing of coronavirus. India will now be switching from random sample testing to testing of all patients with severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).

As the ICMR changed the methodology, questions were raised about whether the government is worried about the Covid-19 pandemic reaching community transmission stage in India.

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