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  • ED has issued a showcause notice to Xiaomi India, two of its senior officials and three foreign banks for FEMA violations to the tune of Rs 5551cr
  • India's South-West coast to be hit by very severe Cyclone Biparjoy which will intensify in the next 36 hours
  • PM Modi pays tributes to Birsa Munda on his death anniversary
  • CBI forms SIT to probe violence in Manipur
  • Coal mine collapses in Dhanbad, three dead and scores feared trapped
  • Death threats for Sharad Pawar & Sanjay Raut, probe ordered and security tightened
  • Akhilesh Yadav says law & order situation is out of control in UP
  • Diesel (8.22 million tonnes), petrol (3.35 million tonnes) consumption hits a new high in May
  • Congress' Kamal Nath Sandesh Yatra will begin in Madhya Pradesh on June 15
  • Congress rubbishes reports of Sachin Pilot starting a new outfit, says they are just rumours
  • Delhi Police take women wrestler who had complained against WFI chief B B S Singh to federation office
  • IT minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar says government will regulate the AI space to keep digital citizens safe
  • Stocks turn negative on Friday: Sensex loses 223 points to 62625 and Nifty 71 points to 18563
  • WTC final: If India can keep the Aussie lead to below 400, they can still make a match of it
  • WTC final: Indian bowlers get their act right in the second innings but Aussies race to a lead of nearly 300 for the loss of 4 wickets
Fresh flare-up in Manipur as 3 persons were shot dead in a Kuki village inKangpopki district
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Third Wave: A False Sense Of Complacency Will Lead To Future Problems

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2022-01-18 06:32:06

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

Is the third wave Covid curve bending in India? Are fresh cases really showing a downturn? For the last few days, fresh cases in Maharashtra, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengal are either declining or the growth rate has slowed down. But this is not really the case. It is mainly due to lower testing. India reported 235456 new cases on Monday, down 9 percent from Sunday when 2.59 lakh cases were reported. But Monday's low cases were against the lowest (only 13.13 lakh) tests conducted in 13 days. Yet, the positivity rate at 18 percent was the highest during the current wave. This means that if India had carried out 20 lakh tests on Monday, which it should given the high positivity rate, the number of cases would have been close to 360000.

Then, the ICMR fiat that asymptomatic persons and also asymptomatic contacts of a Covid-infected person need not be tested is also suppressing the figures for new cases. Add to this the practice of many, at least in urban areas, to self test with home testing kit and without reporting the result to the authorities and the picture is not very pretty. On a conservative estimate, the number of fresh cases in India is at least double of what is being reported. In several cities like Kolkata, the positivity rate is still anywhere between 35 and 55 percent and that is very alarming. Nowhere in India is the positivity rate below 5% and that is a sure indication that the curve is not bending.

There must be a clear policy on the number of tests to be done every day, state-wise, district-wise and city-wise as per the positivity rate. This data should then be assembled and analyzed as without that, it is very difficult to know the spread and severity of the third wave. All experts had predicted that Omicron will spread very fast and infect a huge number of people. The peak was to be reached in the first week of February. But India has reported figures that do not bear this out. So how should India formulate policy on tackling the spread? A false sense of complacency due to the low figures being reported will lead to wrong policies and lingering health problems for the people.