Corona virus situation in India – It is probably in a very very bad in coming days.
Let us start by an example. A person from Google Bangalore already tested positive. Let’s say he went to KFC and a person X got the virus from him. They don’t know each other.
Person X: I have all symptoms of corona, I want to get tested
Officials: Did you travel to any of the affected countries recently?
Person X: No, I did not leave India in last 6 months
Officials: Are you in close contact with anyone who recently came back from affected countries. Like friends, family, colleagues, etc.
Person X: No, not that I know of
Officials: Okay, then you *cannot* be tested for corona
Person X: But I have all the symptoms
Officials: But you don’t qualify our criteria
Not a joke. That is exactly how the rules are today. The protocol says “people who have travelled to affected countries recently or who have contact history with such travellers – and have symptoms of the disease” (that’s “and” condition)
Person X, with all symptoms will go free, 100’s others might get it from him – but none of them “qualify the criteria” to get tested.
“The number of cases in India is low”
“We did a good job at containing the virus so far”
“All cases in India are related to foreign travellers”
Number of positive cases is a function of number of tests made. Think of it, even if everyone in India has the virus, if zero tests are performed, then there will be zero identified cases.
So, the real question is: How many tests did India do?
As of March 9th, India tested 5,255 samples in total. For comparison, Italy did 60,000 (10X), South Korea did 210,000 (35X)
For every million population, South Korea did 4100 tests. India did 5. (Can you believe that?)
There are possibly 1000’s of people out in the wild right now spreading it to even more people.
I saw this first hand: USA took the same exact approach. They tested only people with travel history and the number of cases were less. Around March 1st they changed their rules of who can be tested, and all of a sudden it is exploding.
On March 1, USA had 75 confirmed cases
On March 14, USA had 2800+ confirmed cases
By March end (prediction), USA will have 20,000+ cases.
Personally, I think the officials know what they are doing. They are trying to keep the count low to reduce panic and they are hoping the summer will reduce the spread of virus.
I don’t have faith in this approach and I am worried.
On Feb 24th, Italy identified just 220 cases
Today, March 14th, Italy identified 21000+ cases
That’s just 20 days apart.
India, as a country, has very very little time to act. If the summer does halt the spread, or if all of what I said above is wrong – well and good.
But what if that’s not the case? Take into account the population of India, our already overcrowded healthcare system.
Press release stating the number of tests India did: https://www.icmr.nic.in/sites/default/files/press_realease_files/PressRelease_09Mar2020_4PM_IST.pdf
Amazing image put together by Scroll https://s01.sgp1.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/inline/qoxkehxifv-1584107629.png
Must read, open letter from Italy to rest of the world