New Delhi: With 160 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and the number galloping every day, India is staring at a crucial time. Questions are being raised whether the country has already entered stage three of the infection where it’s difficult to trace the origin of the infection. To ascertain this, some random 820 samples of persons with severely acute respiratory infection were collected. All of them tested negative, reports said. This dismisses the speculation that India, at present, is witnessing community transmission. It is still in stage two of local transmission. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in India Rise to 160, PM Modi to Address Nation on Efforts to Combat it | Top 10 Points

The new case reported from Tamil Nadu has triggered the speculation as this man has no travel history abroad. He didn’t come into contact with the first case that Tamil Nadu reported either. The first case was of a 45-year-old man who had returned from Oman. According to reports, he has been released after he tested negative twice following the treatment. The absence of any link between the first and the second case fuelled fears that India might have entered the third stage where the virus gets transmitted among communities. But doctors said that this person who tested positive is from Delhi. It is not yet established from whom he got infected. But he came into contact with people who just returned from abroad. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: ECB Recommends Suspension of All Recreational Cricket

The Indian Council of Medical Research, meanwhile, said it will continue the random sampling to check community spread. Such samples are collected from people who have not travelled abroad, are not in contact with people who have travelled abroad. Only when such people test positive in a large number, it can be a case of community transmission, doctors said. Also Read - Srinagar Reports First Coronavirus Case, Foreigners Asked Not to Visit UT

Here are the stages:

1. Import of coronavirus: This is the phase when India reported its first few cases in Kerala. Those were imported cases. Those who were affected had contracted the virus from Wuhan.

2. Local transmission: This started when people with no travel history abroad started getting the disease. For example, when the first Delhi man who came from Europe infected six others in Agra is a case of local transmission.

3. Community transmission: This is a stage when it is not easy to identify the origin of the virus. The patients might get it even if they have not come in touch with an infected person. India has not reported any such case yet. All positive cases can be either attributed to travel or infected persons.

4. Epidemic: What China experienced from late January to February is epidemic with no end at the sight. This is stage four. Italy and Spain have not yet entered the stage.