Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fight Against Coronavirus: Observation from 27th April 2020 Data

The world is now a changed place while it still fights against the Coronavirus pandemic. India is no exception to it. With very limited resources and insufficient healthcare infrastructure in the country, the daily data about the coronavirus pandemic clearly indicates that India has till now performed remarkably. Here are a few observations from the data of 27th April 2020 on the Coronavirus pandemic:-

From graph No. 1 & 2, it is clear that the total recovered cases are growing at a higher rate than total active cases as well as the growth in recovered cases is higher than the growth in the active cases. It is continuing for many days. This is an indication of trend reversal and that lockdown is working for India and this pandemic will be over in a few months if not weeks. However before jumping to any concrete conclusion, it is necessary to wait for one or two weeks.
From the graph No 3, India has the lowest death rate per million in comparison to the US, UK, France, Italy, Spain and China even though India has insufficient healthcare infrastructure as well as the lower allopathic doctor to patient ratio than the WHO recommendations. For India this number is 0.61 in comparison to more than hundred for most of the said countries except China.
From graph No. 4, it is clear that the doubling period has increased from 10 days to around 10.5 days in the last two days. It was 3 days at the beginning of lockdown. This is a remarkable improvement. If the cases have doubled in 3 days, India would have not been able to provide healthcare facilities to its patients.
From graph no 5, it can be said that the 10 days moving average for the total death to total cases are falling continuously for many days. Also the Graph No. 6 indicates that the confirmed cases per million are growing but not at an increasing rate. This also indicates trend reversal.
Graph No 7 also indicates that the 10 days moving average for total confirmed cases to total tests are falling continuously for many days. In the last few days, testing has increased significantly to more than 50000 tests every day in India. It was widely feared that the numbers of confirmed cases have been lower due to lower testing but as the testing increases, confirmed cases per test is falling. That means there is no widespread community transmission for the coronavirus. Also, the total number of deaths due to all causes in the country has fallen by about 20-30%. This clearly indicates that despite the lack of testing facilities in the country, there has not been a community spread of infection; otherwise the death rate would have increased in the country. So it can be said that now there is a strong possibility that in the next few weeks, the corona growth curve will flatten.
From the above data as well as the previous data, it can be comfortably concluded that in a few weeks, the number of coronavirus infections would be so low that it would become a new normal for India. However, the expectation that India achieving zero infection wouldn't be possible without complete and pan-India vaccinations. So India has to slowly and steady adapt to ‘New Social Behaviour as well as Order’.

As a result of lockdown, today almost half of Indian districts are free from any coronavirus infections. Also six i.e. Goa, Sikkim, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are Corona free. This is good for the whole country in general and the economy in particular. Economic activities in these states and districts can slowly be resumed in a staggered manner.

However, according to the daily data for the states, the situation in Maharashtra and Gujarat is alarming as the recovery rates in these states are the lowest and in Maharashtra, everyday a large number of confirmed cases are piling up. Also the situation in West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh is still critical. Though, on the basis of testing data, the situation in West Bengal looks troublesome. The numbers of total testing in West Bengal is the lowest in India by population if compared to other states. A total of 697 cases have been found confirmed for infection in only 13223 tests in West Bengal. Whereas, in a state like Odisha, only 118 cases have been found confirmed cases from more than double test that is 26687 tests during the same period. It is quite possible that in case of increased testing, there may be an unprecedented increase in confirmed cases in West Bengal.

- Rajeev Kumar Upadhyay

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