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Are we testing intelligently?

Today is the 48th day of the harshest lockdown of the world, implemented in India, beginning 24th March 2020, in an attempt to tame the COVID-19 growth. The third phase of the lockdown will end on 18th May, but no one is sure whether the Government will extend it further or not. There is no doubt that the lockdown has enabled the country to substantially curb the COVID-19 growth rate but the way the lockdown was imposed from the top without any deliberations with the State Governments resulted in chaos for millions of Indians. Even after 48 long days, there are no signs of flattening the infection or even in the foreseeable future, instead it is growing with a polynomial curve trajectory. This is quite worrying because many other countries that imposed an extended lockdown, similar to India, witnessed a drastic drop in the number of new cases. FICTIONAL PROJECTIONS
On April 25, Niti Aayog member Dr. V.K. Paul, a retired professor at AIIMS, New Delhi claimed that the decision of the l…

Are we heading to a catch-22 situation?

India's first COVID-19 case was detected on 30th January 2020, then 2 more cases were reported by 3rd February. There was no case reported from anywhere in the country during the month of February till 2nd March. There after, the COVID-19 infections started to slowly spread across the country. As on 14th March, the total confirmed positive cases reached a figure of 107. This has further increased to 223 on 20th March, showing the number of confirmed cases doubled within less than 7 days. As per the latest data released by MoHFW at 8 AM on 20th April, the confirmed cases reached 18601.


FIRST PREDICTION

ICMR data on 21st March shown that there are 315 confirmed cases, while the MoHFW release shown this as 283, this inconsistency of figures between the two entities of Union Government continues even today. However, I have taken MoHFW figures here for my analysis. The data on 21st March showed that the confirmed cases were doubling in every 5 days and we are on an exponential curve.
In t…

Test, Test, Test and Detect More!

India’s COVID-19 testing invited a lot of criticism as Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) hold on to a rigid and limited testing criteria, which was at best can be described as ‘don’t test, don’t find’. Finally ICMR forced to scale up their testing numbers, widen their laboratory network and also expanded the testing criteria. At present, there are 143 Government laboratories, 67 private laboratories and 3 collection sites, totalling 213 spread across 35 States and Union Territories of India except Lakshadweep Islands.



As per ICMR press release dated 13th March 2020, they disclosed that they have tested more than 6500 samples from 5900 individuals and out of that 78 were confirmed as positive cases. As per the bulletin published by ICMR on 9th April, 144910 samples from 130792 individuals were tested and out of that 5705 are detected as positives. It is also mentioned that within the last 24 hours, 16002 samples were tested, which is an appreciable achievement considering the…