The spike in cases of COVID-19 in South East Asia, especially Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and countries closer to India like Nepal and Sri Lanka has put the surveillance teams and public health officials in Hyderabad and districts on a state of high alert.

The incessant reporting of COVID-19 positive cases in neighbouring countries has triggered a sense of uneasiness among the community of health care workers who are directly involved in field-level surveillance measures at international airport in Shamshabad and those visiting homes of persons in home isolation.

The unease also stems from the possibility that COVID-19 might have already spread into the community by somehow slipping through the elaborate surveillance systems. Given the challenges like densely populated urban centres, lack of awareness on personal hygiene and deficient infrastructure, senior public health officials in Telangana now agree that even a cluster or a bunch of COVID-19 positive cases in any Indian State could pose a huge threat.

“So far, we have not received a single positive case of COVID-19. However, there is every indication that COVID-19 has become pandemic, as new countries continue to report cases. Almost all our neighbouring countries have reported COVID -19 and it appears as if it is a matter of time before a cluster or a group of patients test positive in India,” senior health officials said.

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