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Has India Reached The Peak Of The Pandemic? – Prof K Nageshwar

Posted : August 24, 2020 at 4:23 pm IST by ManaTeluguMovies

India’s recovery rate has now reached 75 percent. Earlier, the State Bank of India research estimated that the daily new cases will reach the peak if the recovery rate touches 75 percent.

Given this prediction, obviously the question arose on whether India has reached its pandemic peak or not. But, the SBI research is the estimate of economists and more to do with statistical modeling rather than epidemiological assessment.

The global experience finds no causal relationship between the recovery rate and the daily new cases reaching its peak. For instance, the Brazil reached its peak in daily new cases when the recovery rate stood at 70 percent while the corresponding figures for China stood at 71.5 percent and Malaysia at 79.5.

It is wrong to conclude anything by cherry picking the statistical data. Not just the recovery rate is encouraging, India’s positivity rate declined to less than 8 percent. The death rate fell to 1.86 percent. Over 22 lakh out of total 30 lakh cases recovered.

India is now conducting a million tests a day. But, all this is a part of the story. India today stands third in the world in total number of cases. India is the fourth country in number of deaths in the world. Even today, the country is reporting 70,000 new cases per day. The pandemic has now reached rural India with 54 percent of total cases reporting in rural districts alone.

Not just India is yet to reach the peak, the experience of United States, South Korea suggests the possibility of second wave of infections. Therefore, it is wrong to be complacent by looking at mere statistical data. The fact is that pandemic is to stay for still longer time unless the vaccination is done universally.

Nation of India’s size cannot wait for herd immunity. The serological survey indicate that Delhi has 29 percent prevalence virus rate while Dharavi slum in Mumbai reported 57 percent and Pune reported 51 percent prevalence rate.

But, as per the sero survey done in April, the infection prevalence rate in the entire country stood at 0.73 percent only. Extrapolating the data also reveals that herd immunity is not round the corner in India. Still the country has reported over 50,000 deaths. Waiting for herd immunity would prove to be disastrous. India cannot lose its guard by selectively interpreting the statistics.

By — Prof K Nageshwar


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