The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global health crisis afflicting almost every country and territory in the world. As the virus spreads across the globe, different countries stand at different stages of the COVID-19 infection. 

What are the four stages of coronavirus?

Based on a report conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) there are four stages of COVID-19.

The first stage

When cases are only imported from affected countries and therefore only those who have travelled abroad test positive. At this stage there is no spread of the disease locally. Alarmingly, all countries have crossed this stage.

The second stage

When there is local transmission from infected persons. This will usually be relatives or acquaintances of those who travelled abroad who test positive after close contact with the infected person. At this stage, fewer people are affected, the source of the virus is known and is therefore easier to perform contact tracing and contain the spread via self-quarantining. India claims to be in this stage.

The third stage

This is the stage of community transmission. In this stage those who have not been exposed to an infected person or anyone who has a travel history to affected countries, still test positive. In other words, people are unable to identify where they might have picked up the virus from. Countries like Singapore, Italy and Spain are currently in Stage 3.  

The fourth and final stage

This is the worst stage of the infection where it takes on the form of an epidemic. Massive numbers are infected and it is very difficult to control and contain the spread. This is what China dealt with. 

Which stage is Pakistan at?

Pakistan is most likely at the second stage. The total number of cases in Pakistan stands at 380. All the cases reported till now are in one way or another related to people with travel history from countries hardly hit by the epidemic. However, it won’t be long before Pakistan enters stage 3 if strict measures are not taken to curb the spread of the virus.

Also read: We might have to practice social distancing for more than a year


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