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

News Snippets

  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
  • India has moved to the 40th spot in the innovation index, up 6 spots from last year
  • DGGI has alleged that top insurance companies, banks and NBFCs has committed a fraud of Rs 800cr by claiming input tax credit without underlying supplies
  • The Centre will borrow Rs 10000cr less than planned earlier due to good revenue collections
  • At $23.9bn, India's current account deficit widened to 2.8% in Q1, the worst in four years
  • Stocks continue to flounder on Thursday: Sensex sheds 188 points to 56409 and Nifty 40 points to 16818
  • The 36th National Games were declared open on Thusrday by PM Modi in front of a record crowd in Motera near Ahmedabad
  • Jasprit Bumrah most likely to miss T20 World Cup due to recurrence of back injury
  • PFI's political wing, the SDPI is on EC radar and action will follow soon if discrepancies are detected
  • Ashok Gehlot to meet Sonia Gandhi today, says all issues will be sorted out soon
  • Referring to the PFI ban, most Muslim organizations ask the government to take similar action against right wings organizations like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP and the like
In a landmark order, Supreme Court rules that all women, married or unmarried, are entitled to safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy as per the MTP Act
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.