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

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court sentences Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu to one year rigorous imprisonment in the 1988 road rage case
  • Home Minister Amit Shah says rights should not be demanded before fulfilling responsibilities and that universities are no place to wage ideological battles
  • NIA court convicts JKLF chief Yasin Malik in terror funding case after he pleads guilty of all charges
  • A study backed by PM-EAC has recommended universal basic income and urban job guarantee and greater spend on social sector schemes
  • Supreme Court rules that the decisions of the GST Council are not binding on the Centre and the states, leaving the door open for states to levy further taxes
  • After sustained campaign by BJP MP Arjun Singh, the Centre today withdrew the jute price cap order, industry welcomes move
  • Akasa Air might postpone its July launch due to late arrival of aircrafts
  • Metro Cash & Carry decides to sell Indian operations. All major players, including Reliance retail and Amazon, are likely to bid
  • Local and global cues spook the markets on Friday - Sensex crashes 1416 points to 52792 and Nifty by 430 points to 15809
  • IPL: RCB crushes GT by 8 wickets as Virat Kohli returns to form with a well-made half century
  • Nikhat Zareen is world champion in flyweight category. Wins gold at Women's World Championships at Instanbul
  • Supreme Court uses its special powers under Article 124 to release A G Perarivalan, a Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict
  • Indrani Mukherjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, gets bail from Supreme Court after 6.5 years in jail
  • Hardik Patel quits Congress, says top leaders distracted by mobile phones and state leadership busy arranging 'chicken sandwiches' for them
  • Anil Baijal resigns as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi citing "personal reasons"
Nikhat Zareen is crowned world champion in the flyweight (52Kg) category at the Women's World Championships in Istanbul /////// Supreme Court sentences Navjot Singh Sidhu to rigorous imprisonment of one year in the road rage case /////// Sunil Jakhar, who quit the Congress a few days ago, joins the BJP
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.