Assessment of the Covid-19 battle of India | HT Editorial – Editorials
More than 50,000 people in India have now tested positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19). There are two ways to view this number. On one level, it is alarming, as it shows that the disease has actually arrived, and without a doubt, there is a level of community transmission where infected people are not necessarily people who have traveled abroad or who have been in contact with them. who has. It also shows that blocking may have slowed, but failed to stop, the spread of the disease. But on another level, the figure must be seen from a broader perspective. Given the size and population of India, the fact that there have been more than three million cases worldwide and the death rate is low (around 2,000 people have died), the situation could have been much worse.
But is it getting worse? Despite the strict blockade, last week brought disturbing news. There has been a sudden increase in cases; no doubt this can also be attributed to higher levels of testing, which are necessary to track down the infected. From an 11.5-day doubling rate on May 3, it has dropped to 10.3 days, which means that cases are doubling in a faster time. Each set of 10,000 cases is now increasing at a faster rate than the previous set. Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi and Tamil Nadu are particularly affected and contribute a substantial part of the cases. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar remain particularly vulnerable due to population density and the fact that migrant workers are now in the process of returning to their homes. Two other states, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, must also be carefully watched, given reports of subcontracting and administrative weaknesses.
The good news is that India now has a clear health protocol for treating the disease, even if there is no cure: ensuring social distancing, testing, isolating, treating. The bad news is that India has probably not yet peaked. And with the relaxations in the running of the bulls, and possibly a greater opening after May 17, there will be more mobility and human interactions. This, in turn, will increase the number of cases. It is unclear whether India has adequate health infrastructure to cope with this possible increase, despite the time given to prepare for the shutdown. The government must not succumb to the temptation to underestimate the challenge, sometimes visible in press briefings. The situation will worsen before it improves.