Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said community transmission of the coronavirus is prevalent in the Capital, but only the Centre or the Indian Council of Medical Research can comment on it. Community spread, or the third stage of a pandemic, is declared when the source of infection is not known.

“When people in such large numbers are getting infected in Delhi and other parts of the country, it should’ve been admitted that there is community spread...but only ICMR or Central government can comment on this,” Jain said. He added that “community spread” is a technical term and that scientists are better equipped to certify it, according to NDTV.

The health minister also said that doubling rate in Delhi is around 40 days. “The positivity rate in Delhi was 6.76% yesterday,” Jain said. “Last week, it was more than 8%. This is the first time that the overall positivity rate has been below 10% [9.83%].”

As of Saturday morning, Delhi’s coronavirus case count crossed the 2.38 lakh mark to reach 2,38,828. There are 32,250 active cases and toll stood at 4,907. As many as 2,01,671 people have recovered from the infection so far.

Earlier, Jain had denied reports of community spread in Delhi. In July, he noted that the source of infection in many coronavirus cases in the Capital was not known, but maintained that it was up to the Centre to decide whether it was local or community transmission.

In July, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had admitted that community transmission of the coronavirus had begun in the state.

However, the Union health ministry has repeatedly denied community transmission of the coronavirus in India.

India’s coronavirus tally reached 53,08,014 on Saturday with 93,337 new cases. The toll rose by 1,247 to 85,619.