Indian officials say they will not hide facts from the public when the country reaches the community transmission stage.

BBC news, which is known for twisting facts, has once again gone rash in criticizing India over the rising Covid-19 cases in the country. In an article published on June 12, the British public service broadcaster in its news item, ‘Coronavirus: Why does India deny Covid community transmission,’ has questioned India’s claim over community transmission of the disease.

After gathering all relevant information, rebuts BBC news charges on the issue point by point.

Charge-1: Despite a surge in cases, India insists there is no community transmission of Covid-19 in the country.

Response: India’s premier research institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has already made it clear that only less than one percent of the country’s total population has been infected by coronavirus and that there is no community transmission yet in the country.

WHO too has said that India still has a cluster of cases like most countries in the region. The South Asian country, according to WHO, is not yet in the ‘community transmission’ stage of pandemic.

Charge 2: Quoting a virologist, Dr Jacob John, BBC says the Covid-19 disease is “indigenously spreading--at first it was an outbreak imported from outside, then it became an Indian epidemic and today this is what it is.”

Response: India reported the first confirmed case of the Covid-19 infection in Kerala on January 30. The affected had a travel history from Wuhan, China. Since then the disease has witnessed a spike in spread. Yet as per survey conducted across 83 districts in 21 states by ICMR, only 0.73 percent of the population showed evidence of past exposure to new coronavirus, while a significant number of the population showed susceptibility to the Covid-19. In all, the epidemic has its source from China. It can’t be Indian epidemic at all.

Charge3: Quoting the same virologist, BBC says, “We are infecting each other. That is the true definition of community transmission. The source is now immaterial. It is truly an indigenous epidemic.”

Response: Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Lav Agarwal in his recent press briefing said India will not hide if it enters the community transmission stage. “We will tell people so that we can step up the level of alertness and awareness,” he said, adding that “we can consider that we are in the community transmission stage only when there are about 20 to 30 percent cases with no clue on how they got the virus.”