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Fact Check: Has COVID 19 spread reached stage 3 in India?

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The claim made in the Quint report that COVID 19 spread has reached stage 3 in India is misleading. 

On March 26, the Quint published a news report claiming that India has now reached in Stage-3 of COVID-19 transmission. To support their claim, the media housemade quoted Dr Girdhar Gyani, who was described as a doctor and a part of some COVID-19 hospital task force, an initiative by Niti Aayog. Quoting Gyani, the website claimed that the community transmission of coronavirus in India has begun but the government is not making it public.

When a person who has no travel history contracts the infection through domestic sources, it is known as Stage-3 or community transmission.

However, it turned out that the claim made by the quint is not true. In an interview with news agency ANI, Dr. Gyani clarified, "Luckily till today increase in the number of cases is purely arithmetic while in the community spread it goes up geometrically or exponentially."

Moreover, Dr. Gyani is neither a medical practitioner nor an epidemiologist. As per his LinkedIn profile, he is academically an electrical engineer, who later did a Ph.D. in Quality Management. He is currently Director General at the Association of Healthcare Providers (India).

Subsequently, AHPI also called the report “misleading” and stated that in an interview dated March 27, 2020, Dr. Gyani told the website that although he has a sense that India is currently not in Stage-3 transmission but it would be better if India prepares as if it were in stage-3.

The Press Information Bureau's fact-checking arm also called this report to be misleading while quoting AHPI’s tweet.

Following AHPI's clarification on this misleading report, the Quint altered its headline to “India May be in Stage 3: COVID-19 Hospital Task Force Convener”.

In conclusion, the claim made in the Quint report that COVID 19 spread has reached stage 3 in India is misleading. 

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