The number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state stood at 722 as of Monday.

New cases indicate possibility of community transmission in Andhra Health MinisterImage for representation/PTI
Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 09:59

After the number of COVID-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh crossed the 700 mark and the death toll reached 20, the state government on Monday hinted at the possibility of community transmission of the pandemic.

When asked if the emergence of 75 new cases in a day pointed at community transmission, Minister for Health Alla Kali Krishna Srinivas (Nani) accepted that it was possible. 

“We have recorded 75 new cases in one day. This is because we have increased testing capacity. In February, we had a single testing lab and could carry out 15-20 tests in a day. Yesterday (Sunday), we did 3,775 tests in a single day. We are working towards increasing testing capacity up to 12,500 tests per day,” he went on to say. 

He said that the increase in the number of cases pointed to the possibility of ‘spread’. “There’s a possibility of increase in cases through foreign returnees and Delhi returnees, as well as their contacts,” he said. 

He urged people not to panic over the rise in case numbers, claiming that the state was implementing the best and effective containment strategy that was yielding results.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases in the state stood at 722 as of Monday.

In Chittoor district, 25 new cases were reported since Sunday morning and 24 of them were from the temple-town of Srikalahasthi alone. Eight of the 24 were frontline government staff, including a woman sub-inspector of police.

Vijayawada has also been witnessing a sharp rise in coronavirus cases, and at least two major pockets in the city were identified as possible community transmission spots. More than 20 cases have been recorded in these two localities alone in the last few days, leaving the authorities baffled about the source of transmission.

"Till yesterday there were over 40 cases due to (possible) community transmission and today the number has gone up by another 25. We are collecting pooled samples in such places to determine the exact spread of the pandemic," a top health official told PTI. 

PTI inputs 

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