Four cities in Madhya Pradesh are close to community spread as the state has added 43,928 COVID-19 cases in just the first 17 days of the new year, taking the positivity rate from 0.20 to nine percent.
According to a Free Press Journal report quoting experts, the four cities in Madhya Pradesh which has 34,973 active cases as of now are Indore, Bhopal, Jabalpur, and Gwalior.
Arvind Rai, dean of Gandhi Medical College, said: “Earlier, we attributed the rise of corona cases to travel but things have changed. The way cases are being reported shows it is almost community spread.”
Echoing him, Manoj Indulkar, dean of Shyam Shah Medical College, Rewa, said: “Technically, we cannot say it is community spread as ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) is there to decide that but practically we are sure that it is very close to community spread.”
Health commissioner Sudam Khade, however, said that it is up to the ICMR to decide if these four cities are inching towards community spread.
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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
In the meantime, the state government has decided to shut all schools and hostels for classes one to twelve till the end of this month. Various other restrictions are in place such as a cap on public gatherings – social, political, cultural, religious, or otherwise.
Madhya Pradesh has been reporting thousands of fresh infections daily since the third wave of the pandemic started. The state reported 6,970 fresh coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, with Indore and Bhopal consistently reporting the highest number of cases at 1,890 and 1,390 respectively.
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