Maharashtra’s Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday claimed that there was no community transmission of the coronavirus in the state, despite the total number of cases breaching the 90,000-mark, NDTV reported. As of Wednesday afternoon, Maharashtra has 90,787 cases of the coronavirus, including 3,289 deaths, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Tope told NDTV that if there had been community spread, at least 20% to 40% of the cases could not have been traced back to any contact of the infected person. He claimed that the contacts of all 90,767 cases had been traced.

“In the containment zones, there are teams of doctors with health workers, who conduct proper surveillance,” he said. “We have always applied the three T principle – aggressive tracing, testing, isolation and treatment. So whatever the cases in Maharashtra, every case is traced, either from the high-risk contact of the index case, or because of the infection done by the index case to the other person.”

Tope said the state government was under the “assumption” that there is no community transmission of Covid-19.

Concerns about Maharashtra, the worst-affected state, have grown after Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday that the number of Covid-19 cases there could surge to 5.5 lakh by July 31. As of Wednesday, Delhi has 31,309 cases. However, Sisodia had also claimed that there was no community spread of the virus in Delhi.

However, earlier in the day, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain expressed concern and said that in almost 50% of cases in the Capital, the source of infection cannot be detected.

Rajesh Tope said on Wednesday that one of the positives is that the recovery rate in Maharashtra is over 47%. Over 45,000 people have been discharged, he said. “The doubling rate is more than 20 days now in Maharashtra,” the health minister said. “So on all parameters, we are at par or ahead of [the rest of] India.”

Tope said that in Mumbai, the state had secured 80% of the beds from private hospitals. New field hospitals have been constructed, he added.

However, Maharashtra Disease Surveillance Officer Dr Pradip Awate had told the Hindustan Times on May 11 that there was “some evidence” of community transmission of the virus in the state. But he added that the majority of cases in Maharashtra came from local clusters.

The total number of cases in India stands at 2,76,583 as of Wednesday evening, including 7,745 deaths.

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