Tackling Covid-19 – The inferences from data across the world that can help India
Based on current data COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus and can be 1000’s of times more contagious then the common flu or influenza. It is also 20-40 times more lethal than the common flu and is especially dangerous for old people.
Unlike other fatal diseases like EBOLA or SARS this virus is transmitted by apparently perfectly healthy asymptomatic carriers which means that by the time a patient tests positive or reaches the hospital it is already too late as far as transmission is concerned. The paper analyses the entire science of this virus Different countries are practicing different measures including quarantine, lockdown, development of herd immunity etc. which is examined in some detail along with their effectiveness.
Public media says that the virus can last on surfaces like Tables and Chairs. The paper looks at research on the same and WHO recommendations. Similarly the effect of temperature and humidity on the virus has been discussed along with the anatomy of the virus and virus mutation which might turn out to be very important.
Country specific analysis comes next especially with respect to South Korea which has had one of the best results in terms of arresting the disease and Italy where the Virus has unfortunately become a pandemic. The paper was written on 25th March, 2020 and although we will regularly update the summary we have not changed the actual paper. Unfortunately the situation in Italy continues to be dire and both Spain and the US are getting worse.
Once the pandemic overwhelms the healthcare system the fatalities seem to increase significantly. There is some logic to show that any measure which can flatten the curve can be very useful in controlling the disease. Instead of a large single spike the healthcare system in most countries is much better geared to handle multiple smaller spikes over a period of a few months.
Finally the paper discusses what factors are relevant to India and what should India do? As time goes by some of these suggestions will be implemented in some form or the other and hopefully we will be in a position to look back and say that we managed to reduce the potential pandemic to an epidemic or even lesser.
For the complete paper click here -