India has over 200,000 cases from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). It is actually the seventh most affected country worldwide. The only silver lining is that India’s fatality rate at less than 3% is among the lowest of the severely affected countries, which means that while the infection is spreading, it is not leading to as many deaths as elsewhere. Even though this is a health advantage India must build and sustain on, the problem is worrying.
India crossed 100,000 cases on May 18 and also the doubling rate is about 15 days. If this type of persists, it means that by the midst of June, India could be near to 400,000 cases; from the first week of July, it may cross a million cases. This also means that if the current fatality rate stays static, India may witness close to 30,000 deaths from the disease by early July. While this could be low with regards to other countries, still it represents a staggeringly high lack of precious Indian lives within a time period of four months considering that the disease started spreading in India. Now, take into account the simple fact that through May, the lockdown was still in force, albeit with greater relaxations over the last fortnight of your month. The land has recently substantially opened, which, all experts agree, may lead to a sharp surge in cases.
This ensures that India is clearly in the stage of community transmission, notwithstanding the government’s inexplicable denial than it. The surge in the event can certainly make the entire process of contact tracing – integral towards the treatment protocol and also in ensuring that the velocity of transmission is restricted – much more difficult. It will strain the medical infrastructure. There is no easy solution. But both governments and citizens need to be better prepared. Authorities, both on the central and state levels, need to ramp up testing, be rigorous with tracing, find more hospitals and beds, and then focus on keeping fatalities low. Citizens will have to exercise great care after they walk out, maintain social distancing norms, wear masks, and avoid all unnecessary activities. Do not forget that Unlock 1. is not freedom from your disease. Prepare for a difficult month ahead.