New Delhi: About ten per cent patients suffering from severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) who were tested for coronavirus have been found to be positive for the disease and three of these patients do not have any exposure history, officials said. The three persons from as many states— Chennai, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra—have neither revealed anyrecent travel history nor did they come in contact with an infected patient, the officials said. Also Read - Coronavirus: PM Narendra Modi Praises Suresh Raina For Donation to COVID-19 Relief Funds in Quirky Fashion | POST

According to Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Raman R Gangakhedkar, around 11 out of the total 110 patients with SARI who were hospitalised have tested positive for COVID-19. Refuting the possibility of community transmission, Gangakhedkar said they have just started testing SARI cases. Also Read - Coronavirus in Telangana: State Reports First COVID-19 Death; No 'Red Zone' Declared in Hyderabad

“There are some sporadic cases where people are not revealing their exposure history but their numbers are not significant enough to assume that the virus is spreading rapidly,” Gangakhedkar said. Also Read - After Akshay Kumar, Ratan Tata Donates Rs 500 Crore For Coronavirus Fight, Netizens Call Them 'Real Hero'

“Till the time we see a significant number of cases to indicate community transmission, let us not over-interpret things,” he said.

The ICMR recently revised the testing strategy for COVID-19 stating that all hospitalised patients with severe acute respiratory illness having symptoms of fever and cough and/or shortness of breath will henceforth be also tested for coronavirus infection. Besides, according to the revised guidelines, asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact.

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.

(With PTI Inputs)

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