Health Minister Harsh Vardhan also said that so far, no mutation of the coronavirus has been detected in India that is more transmission-efficient or more pathogenic.

Besant Road in Vijayawada crowded with hundreds of people wearing masks amid the pandemicImage for representation/PTI
Coronavirus COVID-19 Sunday, October 18, 2020 - 18:31

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said community transmission of the coronavirus infection is restricted to certain districts in a limited number of states, and stated that "this is not happening across the country". The minister said this during an interaction with his social media followers on the sixth episode of Sunday Samvaad.

He was responding to a question from a participant, who cited West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's remark that there are instances of community transmission in her state and asked the Health Minister which are the states that have witnessed community transmission of the disease.

"In different pockets across various states, including West Bengal, community transmission of COVID-19 is expected to occur, especially in densely-populated areas. However, this is not happening across the country. Community transmission is limited to certain districts, occurring in a limited number of states," Harsh Vardhan said.

He added that so far, no mutation of the coronavirus has been detected in India that is either more transmission-efficient or more pathogenic.

The Centre has so far denied community transmission of the coronavirus infection in the country.

Health ministry officials had said the World Health Organization (WHO) has not given any standard definition of community transmission. They said it 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.

Broadly, if it is not possible to trace the transmission chain, it means there is community transmission, officials said. The Centre has maintained that there are clusters of cases and there are pockets of localised transmission.

India's COVID-19 tally mounted to 74,94,551 on Sunday with 61,871 fresh cases reported in a day, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 1,14,031 with 1,033 more people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours, as the Health Ministry's data last updated at 8 am on Sunday showed.

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