This is How Fast COVID-19 Could Spread in India

New Delhi: The Indian government has employed its sources and done the math on how quickly the COVID-19 virus can spread from one cell of the body to hundreds of people, and the result is something every individual should be scared of.

According to a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, gathered by NDTV, it is possible to contain or “interrupt” the transmission of coronavirus in India, “but only in the most optimistic scenario”.

So going by the ICMR report dated February, in the most optimistic scenario, the contagion could drop symptoms in some 1.5 million people in Delhi, with nearly 500,000 cases each in Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, few of the most populated cities and international travel hubs. It’ll peak in a period of 200 days.

However, in a pessimistic scenario, the active cases could soar as high as 10 million in the national capital and 4 million in Mumbai and all in just 50 days.

It the optimistic scenario, it is assumed that at least half of the symptomatic cases are quarantined and within three days of developing a sign. Given the trajectory of the reality a month after the report was written, it is just an optimistic scenario at best.

“You have to remember this is purely a mathematical model done about a month back,” said ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargav, as quoted by NDTV.

The vital measures like thermal screening and complete social distancing started earlier this month, not in February. This is when the contagious disease has already marked itself in places across the country.

Foreign travels, analysed as the most probable cause of the disease, was banned earlier this month even though the transmission around the world started in January. As a result, passengers landing in India became carriers and traveled cross-states implanting the virus from place to place.

A ban on domestic flights was imposed on Sunday from March 25.

Although the government has repeatedly asserted that India has not yet entered the third stage – community transmission, it is imperative to note how the number of cases have escalated in the last two weeks. The total active cases in the country stand over 470 currently with 9 deaths reported.

Looking at the situation in hand, WHO Executive Director Dr Michael J Ryan asked India to continue taking aggressive action at public health level. “India like China is hugely populated and future of COVID-19 to greater extent will be determined by what happens in densely populated large countries. It is really important that India continue to take aggressive action at public health level,” Ryan said.


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