Twy

India Keeps COVID-19 Numbers Low

In COVID-19, Epidemic, Flatten The Curve, Social Distancing, Uncategorized, World Health on March 22, 2020 at 12:22 pm

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India continues to report only a small number of COVID-19 cases. Interesting because the population of India is over 1.3 billion. Has anyone ever seen a picture from anywhere in India that didn’t show huge crowds of people? Their population alone dictates that their numbers should be a lot higher.

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Would you be shocked to learn India is performing fewer COVID-19 tests than any other country in Asia, if not the entire world?

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India’s policy has been only to test travellers who have visited COVID-19 affected countries. If a patient is ill with coronavirus symptoms, as long as they hadn’t been outside the country in the previous few weeks, it is still only considered a “suspect case”.  Even in cases where a patient is on a ventilator,  and on their deathbed, they are not isolated and there are no special protocols.  Doctors are losing it.

People who have been exposed to COVID-19 and have not presented symptoms are having their hands stamped with a government seal indicating that they are under quarantine. Personally, I don’t think it’s really doing anything other than freaking people out.

India’s attitude seems to be No Test = No Covid-19.

The Government of India website does have information on how to slow the spread of the virus, but it’s all quite odd.

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Then there is also this video with a cheerful little theme song, put out on youtube by the Government of India.

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Even with the Government of India posting such sobering  <insert eyeroll here> information online, citizens at large are responding to the outbreak in a variety of ways.  On one hand, you still have people sharing non-sensical cures and preventions like garlic water or hosting cow urine drinking events.

Thank whatever God you want for a team of PHD Students out of India who have been using actual science to look for solutions. They created a brand new and less invasive test for the COVID-19 virus, that is better, cheaper and faster than the current one.

On Thursday, March 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a curfew starting at 7 am Sunday, March 22. Problem; it ends at 9 pm the same day.

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Delhi, has a slightly longer curfew that will start Monday, March 23 and last until March 31.

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Even so, the Government is handing out meals to large groups of people. So much for social distancing.

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While some areas have been locked down, others have not. The lockdowns are only in place for one week. The Indian Government has cancelled all visas. Existing visas have all been suspended. Yet, according to a Union Home Ministry notification, those visas have been extended. That mixed message has led to foreigners being kicked out of their accommodations and unable to leave the country.

Simultaneously, India is welcoming planeloads of ex-pats back into the country from places like Italy.

Some, (I would guess many)  in India are hoping that Modi’s Janata Curfew is just a trial run for a national lockdown to at least try and slow the spread the COVID-19 a little bit. Like something. Please.

As the rest of the world reacts to COVID-19 and the number of cases climbs day after day, many countries have closed borders and imposed various self-quarantine and social distancing rules. Everyone is looking hopefully at China since they made the claim that they have defeated COVID-19 after laying the hammer down.

Then we all shift our gaze to Italy and Spain allowing us a glimpse into our own futures. India should peer into that same crystal ball.

 

UPDATE March 24, 2020

India has announced a sudden and total lockdown of the entire country. President Modi said in a press conference today “If we are not able to manage this pandemic in the next 21 days, the country and your family will be setback by 21 years”.  Only the very essential businesses will remain open and interstate transit is suspended.

 

 

 

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