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India Reluctant to Expand Detection Coverage Masking Coronavirus Cases?


Cover your ears? India has been reluctant to expand detection coverage, masking coronavirus cases


WHO urges countries to test more people to curb the spread of the epidemic, but India has so far not expanded its coverage.

Indian authorities say they will not expand coronavirus testing as in most infected countries, although some have criticized that limited testing may make it impossible for India to detect coronavirus in the world ’s second most populous country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) urges countries to test as widely as possible to curb the epidemic, but India only tests those who travel from an infected country or come into contact with a confirmed case and develop symptoms after two weeks of isolation Detection.

India only conducts about 90 trials per day, although it has the capacity to conduct up to 8,000 trials. According to the Associated Press, so far 11,500 people have been tested.

On Wednesday, Indian coronavirus cases rose to 147.

WHO guides "too early". Officials say WHO guidelines do not apply to India because the spread of the epidemic in India is not as severe as elsewhere.

Balaram Bharghava, chairman of the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), India's top medical research institution, said the guidance was "too early" for India because community transmission has not yet been detected in the country .

"So it creates more fear, more paranoia, and more hype," he said.

Last week, a British citizen went to a public hospital in New Delhi for a coronavirus test, but was told he did not meet India's testing standards and was turned away.

Fearing business consequences for the employer, the woman requested anonymity. She said she told hospital officials that she may have contacted the infected person while working in the reception department, but was not sure.

After a second failed test, she left India for France this week. Her family lives in France, and French President Emmanuel Macron has announced extreme measures to curb the coronavirus.

Indian authorities have proven that their limits are reasonable because they prevent a large number of people from asking for tests, which would cost a lot of the money needed this time to fight TB, malnutrition and other diseases such as AIDS.

ICMR said there was no need to expand such tests. However, authorities said they are strengthening laboratory testing infrastructure to prepare for community transmission. There are 52 coronavirus testing centers in India.

Due to narrow test standards, patients who are likely to be exposed to coronavirus are sent home, and some experts worry that the number of cases in India may be much higher than government statistics show.

The head of the Indian Medical Research Council said that the virus infection in India can still be traced to those who came to India from the affected area, and said that if community transmission is detected, the testing procedures will be revised.

Coronavirus cases in India rose to 151 on Wednesday. A day ago, another 64-year-old man died in Maharashtra, western India.

An Indian government minister said on Wednesday that as of now, 276 Indians overseas have tested positive for coronavirus.

India has suspended all inbound tourists and will ban non-Indian passengers from the European Union, the European Free Trade Association, Turkey and the UK from boarding on Wednesday.

The government announced on Monday that travelers from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait must be quarantined for 14 days when they arrive in India.

Tourists from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France, Spain and Germany have been similarly restricted, and most border crossings with neighboring Bangladesh and Myanmar have been closed.

India has been reluctant to expand the scope of testing, does not want to cause panic, and does not want to overwhelm hospitals.

India Masking Corona Virus Cases

Undetected spread

But concerns about the spread of undetected communities are increasing.

"Given the disease patterns elsewhere and our low level of detection, I do think community transmission is happening," said Dr. Dip, director of the Institute for Translational Health Science and Technology.

World Health Organizationon Coronavirus

WHO says that while the most important community intervention is still the isolation of people with mild symptoms, all suspected, suspected and confirmed cases of symptomatic contacts still need to be tested.

"We need to adapt to the evolving situation, stop the spread of the virus as early as possible, and minimize the impact. We need to take action now," said Dr. Bunam Hetraparsinger, WHO Regional Director.

More than 400 million of India's 1.3 billion people live in crowded cities, and many people do not have regular access to clean water, a condition that could cause the disease to spread rapidly.

"Community transmission is very possible. But the only way to determine it is to pass a wider test," said a PhD from a global health researcher in Bhopal, India.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and coughing, but serious illnesses are more likely to occur in older people and people with health problems.

Compared with other countries, India has a lower proportion of the elderly population, but the country has limited medical facilities and it is difficult to accommodate a large number of patients with other diseases.

India has been reluctant to expand the scope of testing, does not want to cause panic and overwhelm hospitals, but also because of costs: Although the tests are free for patients, the cost of each test is about Rs 5,000 (US $ 67).

As the public health system is stretched and underfunded, money spent on coronavirus leaves less room for other public health issues. India spends only 3.7% of its total budget on health.

Coronavirus may also spread in India as health officials have struggled to maintain isolation, people have fled from isolation wards and complained of dirty conditions.

In Maharashtra, five people walked out of the isolation ward last Saturday. One of them tested negative and the rest are awaiting test results.


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