India not in community transmission stage, attack rate per 100,000 lower than many countries: WHO

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India not in community transmission stage, attack rate per 100,000 lower than many countries: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reiterated that India is not in the community transmission stage of coronavirus as yet. The WHO also said that when you look at the attack rates per 100,000 population in India, it may be much lower than the same number of cases in a smaller country. 

Answering a question put to him by, WHO Executive Director Dr Michael Ryan said “India is a vast nation. The actual attack rates per 100,000 population may be much lower whereas the same number of cases in a smaller country would represent a much higher attack rate.”

“We will have to take a look at the data at the states and the sub-national level to deliberate more on this. I am not 100 per cent sure how India is categorised at a sub-national level. We Will have to take a look at that data to speak more on the same,” Dr Ryan said. 

Senior WHO epidemiologist Dr Maria Van Kerkhove dwelled more on this by stating that interventions are more important at the lowest level of administration. “The classification of a country can be done at a national level but what’s more important is that it’s done at the lowest administrative level. Because that’s what will help you target your interventions to what is needed where,” she said. 

“It is not about which interventions, it’s about the intensity of interventions that need to be focused on depending on that level of transmission. What we do know is that virus doesn’t behave the same way across the whole country. You may have hotspots. In many countries, we are seeing super spreading events, these increase or amplified transmission in specific settings. Whether it is long term facilities or whether it is ex-patriot dorms or churches. We need to make sure that what we understand about transmission is evaluated at the lowest level possible because that will help you be agile in the response that is necessary to break those chains of transmission,” Dr Kherkhove added. 

India’s coronavirus cases are increasing substantially with each passing day. Close to 10,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in India in the last 24 hours taking the overall tally close to 250,000. The number of deaths in India also stands at 7,000. 

Maharashtra, India’s worst impacted state by COVID-19, has crossed China’s coronavirus tally. 

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