” Testing – Key to COVID-19 Containment Efforts ” – June 15, 2020.

          People get frantic with worry, anxiety, and shock at the impact of  COVID-19  increasing by the day. It also makes one feel that the serious nature of this is yet to be perceived. Not just in India but all over the world the effect is sustained.

          COVID-19  cases were  79 05 198  and death toll 4 32 262 yesterday. India recorded more than 3 lakh cases. Since June 1, specially, loss of lives seem to get greater in number and severity. More than 9000 people died till yesterday.

          For the third day in succession about 10000 and more are affected because of the virus in India. Of the 3 20 922 cases impacted, about 1 62 378 have recovered. This marks about 50%  recovery.

          Maharashtra stands first ( 104568 cases);  Tamilnadu is second ( 44661 ) ;  Delhi third ((39958) ;  and  Gujarat fourth ( 23038 )  in terms of COVID-19 cases in India. Statistics recorded in the rest of India show  U.P. (13118); Rajasthan (12401);  West Bengal (10968);  and  M.P. ( 20641 ).

          The first lockdown on March 25 happened only under the instructions of WHO.  India in terms of COVID-19 cases stood at 25th place in the world ( a pride indeed ) ;  by May 31 after the 5th  lockdown India ascended to the 7th place (less proud) ; and at this moment India is in 4th place after U.S.A. ;  Brazil ;  and  Russia ( sad ).

          Attribution of COVID-19 to lockdown or otherwise show two different pictures :  (1)  that the lockdown was not needed at all ;  or (2) that the lockdown should have been enforced even before March 25. The above views, however,  seem to have no basis in fact.  The entire world is struggling as to how this disease can be contained without any scientific evidence or result. India is not an exception to this.

          The fact that Lockdown is the reason for the decrease in cases and death toll due to COVID-19 is confirmed only due to the increasing number of cases seen after the lockdown was lifted gradually. About 2876 per lakh have been tested for COVID-19 according to the statistics on June 2. This is only 6% when compared with countries which have been seriously impacted.  From a measly 35 cases per 10 lakh on March 24, we have reached the stage of 100000 tests per day is more than just comforting.

          The chief failure in our cases was that even though we had knowledge about COVID-19 in March itself, efforts to make necessary actions strengthening infrastructure was not in full swing immediately. Research reveals that by July end we may have to treat 30000 to 40000 COVID-19 patients who would be seriously affected. About 3 to 4 % of cases impacted are serious. Accordingly, we need at least 32000 beds.

          More the testing conducted, more the patients diagnosed. They need to be admitted in hospitals and treated. Hence, the State Governments are proceeding at a slow pace for testing ; or are trying to avoid testing altogether. But this kind of attitude is not promising under the circumstances.

          The recent announcement by the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, in Chennai, specially,  is interesting in this context. Those who undertake testing including their family members should be quarantined for 14 days is the announcement that raises doubts about blocking the test efforts.

          In reality, however, decreasing the tests will not result in any decrease in the spread of the disease. On the contrary, this will only increase the spread.

          Conclusion :  Increased testing ;  Quarantine the diagnosed ;  and stringent lockdown can only be the triad ensuring the containment efforts globally.


   ” Dieu avec nous”

   Monday, June 15, 2020 –  11.09 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit :  ”  UN  is taking efforts to contain reports of Corona rumour mills “.

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