Let me start with the worst case scenario for India.
- 60% of Indians get infected with Covid-19. Thats 78 crore people *
- 5% of these are serious and need hospitalization. That’s 3.9 crore people. # We dont have so much healthcare capacity
- 1% of the infected succumb to the infection. Thats 78 lakh people. #
However this is 2 months away from today, if it happens.
It is within our powers to prevent this from happening.
Even though the Indian govt. health dept. and administration is doing whatever it can to prevent this, it is grappling with several constraints:
- Many people know Covid 19 by now, but they are not really changing behaviour to deal with it
- The persons identified for isolation are not following orders and escaping / moving around freely, exposing others to the danger
- At this stage the infection in India is at Stage 2 (local transmission – tracking and isolation of infected, contact tracing and isolation of potentials) and if not stopped, it moves to Stage 3 (community transmission – the virus is out of control and infects everyone who is not isolated) @
- We also do not know the real number of infected people until we have sufficient Testing. My feeling is that people with symptoms are not being tested unless the govt. hospital doctor recommends this. And access to these doctors is not easy.
We suggest 2 solutions:
- Call in the Indian Army with its 14 lakh highly trained people to inject discipline and boost Covid 19 administration in all states of India.
- Start Testing for Covid 19 on a massive scale. All hospitals, private sector Diagnostic chains such as Dr Lal Pathlabs, Thyrocare, Metropolis Healthcare, etc may be allowed. I believe Health Ministry is enabling this, but can this be started today?
I’m hardly an expert on healthcare. But I understand compounding. The number of infected people are growing by compounding. I also understand probabilities. My estimate is that we now have a 50% probability of moving to Stage 3. Unless we do something about it NOW.
I also believe every country has the power to control this infection if it isolates itself and acts fast enough. South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore moved fast and were able to flatten the Infection curve and stay in Stage 2. See fig 1.
Fig 1 – Source John Hopkins Univ. India is not in this as it had just crossed 100 infections on 13th Mar.
We also saw that China was able to deal with Covid-19 over 2-3 months due to a very tough administration and hard measures, easier to do in a communist system. Here in India the administration does not have command and punitive powers. They are also not geared up to do this. The Indian Army needs to be deployed to do this.
The Indian Army needs to work with the Health ministry, govt. hospitals and local administration, to monitor the airport screening, contact tracing, isolation facilities and govt. hospitals. The Isolated and infected people logistics, people security and healthcare supply chains have to be supported and enforced.
We have to fight Covid 19 before it becomes a national calamity. Its better to over-react early and prevent the problem than to react late.
Stay safe and healthy,
PS – this has nothing to do with investing. But it affects all of us. I write this not to alarm people (this is a known danger) but request an urgent solution to a visible problem.
- * Germany is in stage 3 and has projected that this proportion of its people may get infected
- # These are stats available from China and few other countries in public domain
- @ Eco Times Article on 18/03
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