Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday (March 19) said that a total of 826 samples were tested for community transmission of coronavirus and all have returned negative.
The ICMR asserted that the results of random samples showed that there is no danger of community transmission of COVID-19 in India as of now.
The scientists at ICMR have repeatedly maintained that if community transmission is found and India enters Stage 3 of the coronavirus outbreak, the ICMR will bring changes in the testing strategy.
Earlier, it was reported that ICMR had started collecting samples of those who have been admitted to government medical colleges for respiratory illnesses, both mild and severe. These random samples were sent to the virus research and diagnostic laboratories (VRDLs) network of ICMR.
India reported 169 cases of coronavirus on Thursday. Three people have died of the deadly viral disease, which has claimed over 8,900 lives across the globe so far.
On Wednesday (March 18), ICMR director-general Balram Bhargava had said that India is yet to enter community transmission phase and is still in stage 2 (local transmission) of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on Thursday (March 19) at 8 PM, during which he will talk about issues relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it.
The information about Prime Minister's address to the nation was given by PMO's twitter handle that said, "PM Shri @narendramodi will address the nation on 19th March 2020 at 8 PM, during which he will talk about issues relating to COVID-19 and the efforts to combat it."
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The virus had first emerged in China`s Wuhan city in December last year.