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Covid-19: Scientists come with a warning for India

A report by a group international scientists warned that if the current trend in the growing number of Covid-19 cases continues, then by mid-May India may face around 100,000 to 13 lakh confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. The report was prepared by an interdisciplinary team of researchers.

The report warned that although India has done well in containing the pandemic when compared to other countries, still India is critically missing a key component in this assessment — the number of truly affected cases. This factor depends on the extent of testing, the accuracy of the test results, and the frequency and scale of testing of people who may have been exposed but do not show symptoms.

The researchers said that till now India has tested relatively small number of people. In the absence of widespread testing, it is impossible to quantify the magnitude of ‘community transmission. The researchers asked to implement “draconian measures” to stop the spreading of the disease.

The scientists used data on the number of reported cases in India up to March 16, and applied tools of modelling disease transmission. They estimated the theoretical number of infected at any given time, and compared projections for India against the US and Italy.

Citing World Bank data, they said the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people in India is only 0.7, compared to 6.5 in France, 11.5 in South Korea, 4.2 in China, 3.4 in Italy, and 2.8 in the US. Due to this the predicted surge in the number of cases may make it impossible for the healthcare providers in India to support the sheer volume of cases.

The number of coronavirus infected cases in India so far is 562, while the death toll due to COVID-19 in the country is revised down to nine, according to Health Ministry data.

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