oppn parties Third Wave: A False Sense Of Complacency Will Lead To Future Problems

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court approves two-child norm for government jobs in Rajasthan
  • DMK issues rocket ad with Chinese flag, PM Modi slams party
  • BJP alleges that Congress workers raised slogans like 'Pakistan jindabad' outside Karnataka assembly after the results for the RS polls were declared. CM Siddaramaiah promises stern action if claim found true
  • Calcutta HC says any agency can arrest absconding Sandeshkhali TMC strongman Sk Shahjahan
  • Himachal Pradesh Speaker suspends 15 BJP MLAs for unruly behaviour
  • Joint teams of Navy, NCB and Gujarat ATS seized a boat with 3200kgs of narcotics in high seas off Gujarat coast. Five crew members were also arrested
  • Centre tells Supreme Court that economic disaster will follow if states are allowed to tax mineral land
  • NCLT asks Byju's to keep rights issue funds in a different account
  • Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Enterprises was conferred the honorary Knighthood by Britain's King Charles III for services rendered in furthering business relations between the UK & India
  • RIL to merge Viacom18 with Disney's Star in $8.5bn deal, Nita Ambani to lead the board of merged entity
  • Vodafone Idea shares fall nearly 15% over fears of huge fund raising
  • Stock markets crash on Wednesday: Sensex loses 790 points to 72304 and Nifty 247 points to 21951
  • BCCI gets tough, removes Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan from central contracts for missing Ranji Trophy. In a first, it starts fast bowling contracts to reward emerging players like Akash Deep and four others
  • Tennis: Sumit Nagal loses in first round of Dubai Duty Free tournament
  • WPL: UP Warriorz beat Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets
Bengal police arrests TMC leader Sk Shahjahan, the prime accused in the Sandeshkhali disturbances
oppn parties
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.