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India can control the pandemic at the end of February: panel of experts | India News


NEW DELHI / HYDERABAD: The number of active and symptomatic Covid-19 cases in India already peaked at around 10 lakh on September 17, a report by a government expert committee said on Sunday. Total cumulative cases may reach Rs 1.06 crore, with negligible growth at the end of February, signaling a steady recession, the panel, appointed by the ministry of science and technology and made up of scientists from IIT, IISc Bengaluru, ISI Kolkata and CMC Vellore, additional. This means that the pandemic can be brought under control early next year with “minimal active symptomatic infections” in February 2021.
Publishing the report based on a mathematical model, the committee was quick to warn that the projections would not hold and that the numbers would start to rise if proper masking, disinfection, tracking and quarantine practices were not followed. The Covid-19 curve would depend on these factors in addition to states testing and implementing containment protocols, he said.
India has reported around 75 lakh of cases and the report’s findings would indicate an addition of around 26 lakh of cases. Current active cases total around 7.8 lakh, well below the 9-10 lakh of cases reported in mid-September. India’s cumulative positivity rate is 7.95% and stood at 6.37% on Saturday.
The committee found that 30% of the country’s population had antibodies compared to 14% at the end of August. However, this is in disagreement with the ICMR serum survey which indicated an antibody prevalence of 7% in late August. Which of the two estimates is more correct may influence the outcome of the committee’s findings.
“This figure in 30% of the population with antibodies at this time is good news since that is the explanation for the slowdown of this pandemic. The other point is that the cumulative mortality is expected to be less than 0.04% of the total infected, ”said Professor M. Vidyasagar from IIT Hyderabad, who led the panel.
“We cannot relax because this pleasant downward trend will continue only if we continue with the protective measures,” Vidyasagar said while giving a virtual presentation. According to the panel, India peaked four days before the screening (September 21) by this ‘Covid-19 India National Supermodel’. But without preventive measures, cases can increase by 26 lakh in a month, he said.
“If there wasn’t a lockdown, we would have had a peak that was 15 times higher in mid-June, which would have been overwhelming for the country. By enforcing the lockdown in March, we not only reduced the load on our system, but also pushed the peak to September from the projected end of May, ”said Professor Vidyasagar.
In addition to these projections, the committee, based on time profiles of analyzes conducted for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, concluded that the impact of labor migration on infections in these states was minimal, indicating the success of the quarantine strategies adopted to returning migrants.
The committee also simulated what would have happened if a lockdown had not been imposed when it did, and said the pandemic could have hit India very hard, with a peak burden of more than 1.4 million cases in June.
“If India had waited until May to impose the lockdown, the peak load of active cases would have been around 50 lakh in June,” he said, noting that the imposition of an early and complete lockdown pushed the peak of cases into the future. and it also reduced the maximum load on the system.
He said the lockdown “flattened the curve.” Analyzing actual deaths from the pandemic with various alternative scenarios, the panel said that without a lockdown, the number of deaths would have overwhelmed the system in a very short period of time, eventually exceeding 26 lakh deaths. India has recorded around 1.14 lakh deaths so far.
“Therefore, the imposition of an early and complete lockdown carried the peak of cases into the future and also reduced the peak load on the system,” Vidyasagar said.
In making the projections, the committee suggested that new closures should not be imposed at the district and state levels, unless there is an imminent danger that healthcare facilities will be overwhelmed.

Times of India