No evidence of community transmission of Novel Coronavirus outbreak: ICMR

Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, ICMR Dr Balram Bhargava has said that the country has not yet seen community transmission of the Novel Coronavirus outbreak. Dr Bhargava said, India continues to be in stage-II which is local transmission.

Dr Bhargava said, all 500 random samples have tested negative for Corona virus. He informed that ICMR has decided to intensify testing facilities with expansion of network of its laboratories. Dr Bhargava said, at present there are a total of 72 functional laboratories in ICMR system and it has also engaged other government laboratories which include CSIR and DRDO.

Forty nine of these labs will start testing by the end of this week. He said, ICMR is setting up two rapid testing laboratories at different places which will have the capacity to test 1,400 samples per day and it will become operational by the end of this week.

He said, ICMR is also engaging with high-quality private laboratories, that include laboratories accredited with National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, NABL, to understand the modalities to increase access to COVID-19 tests while ensuring appropriate safeguards.

Dr Bhargava said, all asymptomatic patients who have taken international flights in past 14 days should get tested if they develop symptoms. 

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