With 826 samples testing negative and 194 results pending from 1,020 picked, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday (March 19) ruled out the possibility of community transmission of COVID-19 in the country.
Community transmission is the stage when people without travel history test positive and the source of transmission is difficult to find.
As per the News18 report, all the samples were picked up across hospitals where people have been admitted for influenza-like illnesses and severe respiratory illness from where samples were sent to the virus research and diagnosis laboratories network of the ICMR.
The ICMR has also indicated that more samples will be tested from more sites in the coming days to track the spread of COVID 19.
India has so far recorded 166 cases and three deaths, with a state of lockdown across the country. Schools, colleges, malls, and theaters have been shut down and large groups and gatherings have been called off, in a bid to break the chain of the virus.
Related news: Novel coronavirus cases in India rise to 169
So far, Maharashtra has the maximum number of cases in the country with 41, followed by Kerala (25), Haryana (16), Uttar Pradesh (16), Karnataka (11) and Delhi (10). Tamil Nadu reported the second case of COVID 19 on Wednesday.
Even as fears remain about India becoming a hotspot for the disease like Europe in the coming weeks, the ICMR has maintained that asymptomatic people will not be tested for the disease.
Globally, COVID-19 which has its origin in Wuhan, China, reported the pandemic first by the end of 2019, has had over two lakh cases and close to 8,000 deaths.
Europe has recently become the epicenter in the last few weeks, with countries like Italy witnessing over 300 deaths in over three days, taking the death toll to over 2,000.