India’s Coronavirus Stats Stand Different from the World

COVID in India

The number of people infected with the deadly Coronavirus has been continuously rising all across the world. The outbreak of COVID-19 crossed over a million cases on April 3, 2020 and has reached 1,430,516 with 82000+ deaths as of 8th April.
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Crux of the Matter

India has reported 5,360 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of April 8, 2020. Out of these, 468 people had recovered, while 164 cases were fatal. Out of the 164 deaths, nearly 60% of people were above the age of 60 and especially with pre-existing medical conditions. It is also observed that more than 50% of India’s cases are from the age group 0-40, which is something strikingly different as compared to other nations that have high cases among elderly.

India has been reporting new cases of the virus every day since March 2, 2020 and the numbers are steeply rising. The government is proactively taking measures to control the outbreak and has been under a full lockdown from March 25.

Fatality Rates by Age
3.4% fatality rates are being reported due to the COVID-19 which is higher than the initial 2% estimate reported by the WHO. In the case of coronavirus, the elderly are at a greatest risk of dying if infected. The risk is much higher for people with underlying health conditions like cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases or diabetes. The ‘Spanish flu’ in 1918 also majorly affected the children and young adults.

For many infectious diseases like Malaria young children are most at risk with the majority 57% of deaths in children under the age of 5. According to the table below, the fatality rates for other disease outbreak like SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV were 10% and 34% respectively which is significantly higher than COVID-19.

The death rates when seen individally in some countires with over 1000 cases have been higher than global average. Algeria, Italy and the United Knigdom have the highest rates with 13.15%, 12.63% and 11.15% respectively.

The 2 graphs below bring hope as they display that the number of patients being recovered is rising and that too exponentially. The death rate has been slowing down over time and the recovery is strengthening as the governments urge people to practice social distancing. This indicates that over time more people are recovering than dying from COVID-19.

Ministry of Public Health and Welfare
The government has not reported any community transmission and says the virus is still in local transmission. For a densely populated country, the number of cases is still relatively low compared to Europe and the US but it is also believed to be so due to low levels of testing and limited access to the healthcare system. The annual spending as seen in the graph below on developing the healthcare system is only a minimal 1.28% of the GDP which is very low compared to other countries.

The graph below shows the number of tests being performed by different countries as of April 6, 2020. South Korea has been praised for its widespread testing procedures for COVID-19, which include drive-up testing service which has now tested 466,804 people.

Impact of Tablighi Jamaat
The religious gathering at the Markaz organised by the Tablighi Jamaat group on March 13-15 has caused the biggest coronavirus spike in India. Now nearly one-third of all positive cases are linked to this event in New Delhi.

According to the government reports, more than 8,000 people, including foreigners, visited the Markaz in early March. After this came to light and the attendees were traced and tested, it led to a doubling time of 4.1 days as compared to earlier 7.4 days. The outbreak from this gathering led to it becoming the hotspot for the coronavirus and has incited religious tensions on social media.

The below statistic shows the number of days taken for the number of coronavirus cases to double as of April 6 in different countries. On March 24, Italy had a total of 63,927 COVID-19 cases and on April 6 it had 128,948 cases which suggest that it took 13 days to double.

“Nearly 1,445 cases have been found to be linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi. The doubling rate of COVID-19 cases in India is currently 4.1 days. This is due to Tablighi Jamaat, the additional cases are being reported now.”

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry

Given that there is no known vaccine or drug for COVID19 yet, strict measures like lockdown and social distancing are the only solution at the moment which are proving effective to flatten the curve and can limit the spread and hopefully reduce the doubling rate.

Curiopedia

Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic missionary movement that focuses on urging Muslims to return to practising their religion as it was practised during the lifetime of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and particularly in matters of ritual, dress and personal behaviour. The organisation is estimated to have between 12 million to 80 million adherents worldwide with a presence in nearly 180 to 200 countries. The emergence of Tablighi Jamaat represented the intensification of individual reformation aspects of the original Deobandi movement. It was also a continuation of the broader trend of Islamic revival in India in the wake of the collapse of Muslim political hegemony to the Maratha Empire and the subsequent consolidation of the British rule. More Info

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