Looming Crisis: Some Coronavirus Cases Have No Travel History

Some of the recent cases raise some serious questions as authorities struggle to trace the actual source.

2 min read
As more people with no travel history test positive for coronavirus, speculation about community transmission rise in India.

As many continue to argue whether India is in stage II of coronavirus outbreak or stage III, cases are emerging from different parts of the country where it is being observed that people are testing positive without any travel history.

The stage II of this deadly pandemic is when it spreads only due to local transmission, which essentially means that people test positive only after they come in contact with someone who have had travel history. Stage III is community transmission, which means source of transmission can't be traced.

The Indian government on many occasions has maintained that there is no evidence of community transmission yet. However, some of the recent cases raise some serious questions as authorities struggle to trace the actual source.

“So far there’s no confirmation of any community transmission.”
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry

Pune Woman With No Travel History Tested Positive

Last week, a woman from Pune with no foreign travel history was tested positive for coronavirus, National Institute of Virology on Saturday confirmed. Reportedly, the source for this transmission hasn't been traced yet, sparking fears that it could be a community transmission.

Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh

"A 33-year-old resident of Pilibhit has been tested positive for coronavirus. He doesn't have any travel history, it is a confirmed case of contact transmission," Dr Sudhir Singh of King George's Medical University, Lucknow, said on Wednesday, reported ANI.

Tamil Nadu

A 54-year-old man with no travel history was infected with coronavirus and died at a hospital in Madurai in the early hours of Wednesday, 25 March, making him the first death recorded in Tamil Nadu due to the pandemic. The patient had a medical history of steroid-dependent COPD, uncontrolled diabetes and hypertension, state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar said.

Local authorities said that the man had come in contact with Thai nationals, two of whom later tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier, in another case, a 20-year-old man, who travelled by train from Delhi to Chennai, tested positive for COVID-19. He does not have travel history to any coronavirus endemic country and did not come in contact with a COVID-19 positive patient.

West Bengal

A 57-year old man infected with coronavirus died in Kolkata on Monday. A controversy has erupted over the travel history of the deceased, with his family members claiming that he had not been to any foreign country in the recent past and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stating that that the man had returned from Italy, PTI reported.

He was in the hospital since 16 February and was on ventilator support. The resident of Dum Dum in Kolkata's northern suburb was detected with the disease on Saturday evening after reports from two of the testing facilities - SSKM and NICED - returned positive.

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