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Amid growing concerns in Delhi, Maharashtra denies community spread of coronavirus

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The Maharashtra government has denied all reports of community spread of coronavirus in the state. The western state with over 90,000 cases has reported the highest number of cases and deaths due to the deadly virus in the country.

“I don’t believe there is community spread. This is the assumption in my state,” state health minister Rajesh Tope said in the backdrop of concerns about community spread in Delhi.

Yesterday, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said half the coronavirus cases in the national capital cannot be traced to any source, which suggests community transmission. As the Centre rejected the claim, Jain on Wednesday said, “There is transmission in the community, but if it is community transmission or not that can be declared by Centre only, it is a technical term”.

Delhi has a shade less than 30,00 cases and way below Mumbai’s 51,100 cases.

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The state, Tope said, is tracing every case through the “3T principle—aggressive tracing, testing and isolation, and treatment”.

“We are working according to this principle in Maharashtra and whatever cases are there at present, every case is traced,” he added.

Fears of community spread in the country escalated after reports of a survey that stated that around 15 to 30 per cent of the population living in containment zones and hotspots had been exposed to the infection.  The Delhi Health Minister’s comments also led to the substantiation of those fears.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s nodal body in the fight against coronavirus, has denied reports that a sero-survey showed that about one-third of the people living in containment zones and hotspots may have been infected with COVID-19 and recovered without any definitive contact tracing.

“The findings appeared in media related to ICMR Sero-Survey for COVID-19 are speculative and survey results yet to be finalised,” the ICMR tweeted.

Related: India’s COVID-19 case count rises to 2.75 lakh, death toll increases to 7,745

Mumbai has seen a steady rise in deaths this month, which doctors attributed to the shortage of ICU beds. The city has recorded an average of 53 deaths every day in June, a jump from the average 32 last month.

Admitting that it is a “hand-to-mouth” situation, Tope said, “We are getting 80 per cent of beds from private hospitals and this includes even ICU beds”.

“More than 45,000 people have recovered and have been discharged. Our death rate is around 3.5%. Our doubling rate is more than 20 days. In all parameters, we are at par, or doing better than the national average,” the minister added.

470 new cases, 33 deaths take Guj COVID-19 numbers to 21,044; fatalities at 1,313