India on Course to Become No. 1 in Covid Infections

Instead of providing the test and treatment facilities in hospitals and personal protective equipment (PPE) to doctors, Modi is asking Indians to hit their kitchen utensils to encourage the doctors who should keep working in high-risk hospitals to handle the coronavirus patients. Residents of Chennai break social distancing protocol and gather in groups during the 'Janta Curfew' announced by PM Modi on Sunday, March 22. Photo: R Ramesh Shankar / BCCL Chennai and The Weather Channel
Instead of providing the test and treatment facilities in hospitals and personal protective equipment (PPE) to doctors, Modi is asking Indians to hit their kitchen utensils to encourage the doctors who should keep working in high-risk hospitals to handle the coronavirus patients. Residents of Chennai break social distancing protocol and gather in groups during the ‘Janta Curfew’ announced by PM Modi on Sunday, March 22. Photo: R Ramesh Shankar / BCCL Chennai and The Weather Channel

By RMN News Service

After leaving Russia behind, today (July 6) India became the third most infected country after the U.S. and Brazil, even as India has not been reporting the actual number of coronavirus infections.

With 700,000 reported cases, India is adding on average 25,000 new cases every day. However, independent experts estimate that the actual number of infections is more than what is being reported by the government.

Experts add that soon there could be 300 million infections in India which has lifted lockdown restrictions haphazardly. With millions of infections which are not being reported, it is believed that at present India is at the top in the list of countries that have failed to control the contagion.

The Covid data being released by the Indian government is wrong because India is not doing adequate testing on patients. With only 1.82 tests per 1,000 people, less than 1% of the Indian population has been tested so far.

There may be millions of infected people in rural India who are not being tested. According to independent research reports, India will have nearly 300 million Covid cases at its peak which is expected during and after July 2020.

In other words, the number of infected people in India will be approximately equal to the entire population of the U.S. which currently has the maximum number (3 million cases and 132,000 reported deaths) of the coronavirus cases in the world.

Dr. Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the US-based Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy, and an advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Bank, has warned India that in its worst-case scenario, 60% of its total population (or nearly 90 crore people) will get infected with the deadly virus. [Watch related video on BBC site. ]

However, in view of the lockdown and curfews recently enforced by the Indian government, Dr. Laxminarayan believes that 20% of Indians will get infected, and the number may increase in the coming months if the people failed to follow the social distancing of at least 1.5 meters from each other. He added recently that the Covid cases in India are likely to peak in July.

Assuming that 100 million Indians are infected by July 2020, there will be 6 million (60 lakh) deaths in India because currently 6% Covid-infected people die. This is a huge number which will completely ruin the socio-economic structures in the country.

While the current Indian data is awfully wrong, there are millions of asymptomatic cases, false negative, and false positive cases, and at-home deaths which are not being recorded and reported by the Indian government.

People who want immediate tests are not being tested because of crumbling healthcare systems in the country. And there are hardly any contact tracing and quarantine facilities available in India.

The government wants to hide the devastating effect of Covid infection on Indian people because it will further tarnish the image of PM Narendra Modi, who has failed on almost all fronts in dealing with economic and social crises in the country during the past 6 years of his rule.

Meanwhile, in an ongoing RMN Poll, 83% people say that PM Modi is not handling the coronavirus crisis effectively.

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Rakesh Raman