India Will Likely Have 800 Million COVID-19 Cases, Health Expert Says

Dhir Acharya - Mar 24, 2020


India Will Likely Have 800 Million COVID-19 Cases, Health Expert Says

US experts warn that 60% of India’s population will likely be infected with the coronavirus, meaning over 800 million Indians.

US experts warn that 60% of India’s population will likely be infected with the coronavirus, meaning over 800 million Indians. However, they also said that most of the COVID-19 cases won’t be severe. Therefore, you have to make sure your home is free of coronavirus, here is how:

>>> How To Kill Coronavirus: Effective Products To Sanitize Your Home

According to Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, & Policy (CDDEP), this research model is based on the infection rate of the coronavirus in India. If the virus is transmitted in India like in Italy and Iran, there will likely be 60 percent of the total population infected with COVID-19. Otherwise, if the infection rate is similar to some other countries, the infected cases may account for 20 percent of the country’s population.

India may have 800 million COVID-19 cases
India may have 800 million COVID-19 cases

But he also claimed that’s only the worst scenario and if that does happen, most cases will be mild, not critical or severe.

Even if 20% percent of India’s population get COVID-19, it would already equal 300 million people, 6 million to 8 million of which will need special care. The expert sees the country as a place where people live densely in cities, commuting on crowded public means of transport and having little understanding of social distancing.

As of today, the number of COVID-19 cases in India has surpassed 500 with 7 deaths from the pandemic after the government imposed a national curfew order from March 22. Nevertheless, many medical experts think the actual infected cases could be significantly higher due to the lack of testing.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, & Policy (CDDEP)
Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, & Policy (CDDEP)

Due to lockdown and curfew orders, many businesses in the country have had to close, domestic transportation has reduced and international commuting is limited. The railroad system, one of the most common means of transport in India with about 9 billion travels per year, has been halted until the month-end.

The 14-hour curfew of PM Narendra Modi is thought to be a test for larger lockdown orders. Since the curfew order was issued, local authorities have put 80 districts on lockdown where there are COVID-19 cases. This decision includes major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Chennai, except for essential services.

Laxminarayan says that community transmission may have happened in India at least three weeks ago and thousands of people have accidentally spread the coronavirus. He added that government officials have started having concerns about the fatal risk of infected cases.

He specifically said that there are about 22,500 deaths in India per day and the numbers are not measured accurately, meaning even if there are 1,000 deaths from COVID-19, the system will likely fail to acknowledge.

India is crowded and people know little about social distancing
India is crowded and people know little about social distancing

Until March 21, the criteria for coronavirus testing in the country were still limited, but the government is extending to test more people, including those with respiratory symptoms, apart from just coughing, fever, and shortness of breath.

As stated by Laxminarayan, the Indian government is racing to set up more medical centers in preparation for the coming challenge. This is called the ‘black swan event,’ where everyone cannot anticipate what will happen and it’s all really sudden.

He believes India needs to prepare more beds in case there are a few millions of new cases in a short time, along with extending the lockdown period.

>>> French Researchers Tested Drug Combo To Treat Covid-19; US President Trump Calls It Game Changer

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