Community spread? Delhi says Centre to confirm

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NEW DELHI: The two dreaded words — community spread — brought to the fore a difference of opinion between the Centre and the state government at a meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the capital at the lieutenant governor’s office on Tuesday.
Emerging from the meeting, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said, “On community spread in Delhi, central government officials said it has not happened yet and there was no need to discuss this matter.”
However, his cabinet colleague and health minister Satyendar Jain indicated that the Delhi government believed otherwise but will wait for the central government to confirm. After the meeting, Jain explained that community spread is a situation when people do not know how they got the infection.
“In 50% of the cases in Delhi, the source of infection is not known. The director of AIIMS has also observed that there is community spread in the containment zones of Delhi,” he said. “On behalf of the state government, we can only say that there is a significant spread, but only the central government can say if it is community spread or not."
Health minister Satyendar Jain had earlier pointed out that even at the LG’s House where many employees had recently tested positive, it had been difficult to trace their source of infection.
“What is community spread? It is a situation in which the source of infection in positive persons cannot be ascertained,” he added. TOI had last week reported that the source of infection in around 30% of Covid-19 positive persons was not known, leaving the authorities wondering whether the pandemic had entered the community spread stage in the capital.
Delhi has so far witnessed more than 30,000 Covid-19 positive cases. More than 1,000 fresh Covid positive cases are being reported daily. If community spread is confirmed, the government will have to modify its strategy in the fight against Covid-19.
Chaired by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, the DDMA meeting was also attended by revenue minister Kailash Gahlot, chief secretary Vijay Dev, police commissioner S N Shrivastava and other officials from the Delhi government and central government.

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