(PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

Mumbai: In a good news for Mumbai and its citizens, out of the 4,000 people visiting COVID-29 OPDs, only one person was found positive. This comes as a ray of hope, as the city has not yet entered category 3 or community-based transmission yet.

According to Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani, COVID-19 OPDs in the city see a footfall of 500 patients daily. “But only one patient with a foreign travel history has been detected to be positive with the deadly virus,” he said.

Notably, community-based transmission of the virus is on a larger scale in countries like Italy, Iran, South Korea and Japan. City health officials claim that the virus has not begun spreading at a community level in the city yet. In Mumbai, all the reported 36 positive cases fall in the category of risk factors. “So far, we have not found any patient with community-based infection,” confirms Dr Padmaja Keshkar, executive health officer (EHO), BMC.

Although doctors claim that some infections may go unnoticed and that it is currently the season for respiratory diseases. Influenza and common cold have symptoms similar to COVID-19. Against this backdrop, the state health department has asked doctors to inform them in cases where patients develop acute pneumonia.

Not all pneumonia are caused by COVID-19. The pathogen of coronavirus affects the respiratory tract from the nose to the lungs. In some patients, it may only affect the upper respiratory tract with mild symptoms. When it reaches the lungs, the patient develops pneumonia with breathlessness.

“To ascertain, we need to check the travel history or the possibility of contact-based infection among patients. Without these two risk factors, it is extremely tough to differentiate the symptoms of pneumonia from coronavirus acquired pneumonia without tests,” said Dr Sundeep Salvi, director of Chest Research Foundation.

Tope disagrees

Meanwhile, five of the ten people who tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Maharashtra on Sunday got the infection through local transmission, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.

The remaining five had a history of foreign travel, he added.

"Today, as many as 10 people tested positive of which five got the infection locally. Remaining five got infected abroad and returned to India," Tope said at a press conference here.

"It is certainly a matter of concern as cases of local transmission are increasing," he added.

The total number of coronavirus positive patients in Maharashtra has now risen to 74.

Of the 10 new cases, six are in Mumbai and four in Pune.

A health official informed that the Centre had decided to stop flights into the country, starting from tonight. "But those who are carrying the infection should be identified, tested and treated. We need cooperation of people in terms of travel history so that further transmission can be stopped," the official said.

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