By Chandra Vikash
Discerning through the global information on coronavirus Pandemic, it turns out that what I had thought around March 10 that we should allow Herd Immunity to set in was bang on. In retrospect, Prime Minister Narenda Modi and his team made a blunder to stop people from playing Holi, which is scientifically underpinned to ward off viral infections which rise around this seasonal change.
Modi most likely took this disastrous decision to distract attention from the sinking economy but in the desperate bid to salvage his free-falling public image, he has dealt a fatal blow to the Indian economy that he alone is responsible for.
It turns out that the key characteristic of this novel coronavirus is that it has very high transmissibility but its fatality rate over the entire set of infected people, as per the reliable data in countries with high testing rates — South Korea and Germany — at less than 2% is no higher than the common cold.
It is high only in cases of comorbidity i.e. people with prior illnesses. No doubt the panic was grossly amplified by the internet, and ultimately it will kill millions of people in countries like India, not because of coronavirus itself but because of the kneejerk decision of a paralyzing lockdown, the reason why I strongly resented it and asked people who supported it to remove me from their friends’ list, as I categorized them as the deluded and paranoid segment, who spread misinformation.
Testing is limited to people who are so sick that they wind up in hospital. Only infections that get counted are in the people most likely to die
Check this out. Testing is limited to people who are so sick that they wind up in hospital. That means the only infections that get counted are in the people most likely to die. So the denominator is missing a huge number of infected people who survive, and that makes the virus appear much more deadly than it really is.
This is probably one reason that early death rates in China appeared so high, says Gerardo Chowell, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the department of population health sciences at theGeorgia State University. Chowell is part of a team that has been using statistical modeling to study the outbreak in China and South Korea.
When cases started showing up in the city of Wuhan, Chinese health officials “were obviously caught by surprise” and lacked the ability to test many patients, Chowell says. So testing was restricted to the sickest people.
That probably contributed to early evidence that the fatality rate in Wuhan was 4% or more. A study published last week estimated that in Wuhan, the chance that someone who developed coronavirus symptoms would die was actually 1.4%.
In South Korea, though, “they have been doing massive testing”, since the first cases were detected, Chowell says. As a result, that nation has been able to count infected people with mild symptoms as well as those who become severely ill. That may be one reason the case fatality rate in South Korea has remained below 2%.