Coronavirus claimed its first life in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday of a 60-year-old woman, raising the toll across India to 16 as six more died due to the coronavirus.
This was the highest number of deaths the country has recorded so far in a single day. The country recorded 70 fresh cases on Thursday, taking the total number to 703.
Kerala reported 19 fresh Covid-19 cases on Thursday, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 126, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding that more than 1.2 lakh people are under observation in the state.
Maharashtra has now the highest number of positive cases in India. Maharashtra comes close second with 124 active cases reported so far with one new case each being reported in Mumbai and Thane.
Four fresh cases were recorded in Karnataka on Thursday, taking the tally in the state to 55. Three more persons, including a couple, tested positive for Covid-19 in Telangana on Thursday.
However, and this is the important point, every day it becomes more and more likely that the danger of the virus is massively overestimated. The reported death rates of 3% are clearly massively overestimated. It’s now thought that there are tens of thousands of unreported cases of Coronavirus around the world.
Remember, 100% of deaths caused by the virus are reported, but the amount of people who are carrying the virus is unknown, and the reports are based on the worst possible scenario.
The number of Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 44. The husband and wife, residents of Domalguda in Hyderabad, are doctors and came into contact with others infected with the virus. The third person, also a resident of Hyderabad, had traveled to Delhi.
None of them has a recent history of foreign travel. In neighboring Andhra Pradesh, three new cases of the virus were detected, taking the state total to 11. The government on Thursday, meanwhile, allowed the retail sale of drugs at the doorstep of consumers during the 21-day lockdown.
A gazette notification by the ministry of health and family welfare said, “Retail sale of drugs to the doorstep of consumers is essential to meet the requirements of emergency arising due to pandemic Covid-19 and in the public interest.”
However, the government said it is equally necessary to regulate the sale and distribution of drugs for their delivery to the consumers. The center said that government-approved retailers can sell such drugs, subject to the condition that any such sale of a drug specified in Schedule H shall be based on receipt of prescription physically or through email.
The licensee will have to submit an email ID for registration with the licensing authority if prescriptions are to be received through email, it said. “The drugs shall be supplied at the doorstep of the patients located within the same revenue district where the licensee (chemist shop) is located,” the notification said.
The government also said that for chronic diseases, the prescription should be given to the chemist within 30 days of its issue, while in acute cases, the prescription submitted should be within seven days of its issue.
Policy think tank NITI Aayog has called upon doctors to work as volunteers for handling the outbreak. The government has realized that if the number of cases spikes, public health facilities will face tremendous pressure.
NITI Aayog said, “This overwhelming burden may not be met by the available doctors in the public health system. The central and state governments are augmenting and expediting an increase in healthcare services in every part of the country.”
Despite the massive number of cases being recorded, the government maintains that India continues to be in stage two of the spread, which is the local transmission.
“It is too early to say that community transmission of the virus has started in India. A non-traveler to an infected country may also be infected if he comes in contact indirectly either touching surfaces touched by the infected person or through unknowingly close contact with an infected person,” said Rajni Kant, a scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research.
When we look at the deaths, we have to look at where the deaths have occurred. Wuhan was hit pretty hard, but 70% of the male population are heavy smokers, and they live in some of the worst air pollutions in the world. It won’t take much to put these people into respiratory distress. Then there’s Italy.
Police in India are using violent force on citizens who defy the coronavirus lockdown pic.twitter.com/ewJA6VsHBM— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 26, 2020
The people that have succumbed have been elderly, since the elderly will not have access to social media like the young have, and villages of old biddies will get together for Sunday mass and a cup of coffee.
Then there are counties like the UK and Australia where the deaths are occurring in nursing homes. The remaining life expectancy in nursing homes is months, and patients are way more likely to die of aspirational pneumonia from inadequate oral hygiene. But the fact is, only a handful of people have been tested. In America it is around 500, in Australia, it is no more than 100, and a diagnosis cannot be made without a test. So just think of all the undiagnosed cases that bring the death rate down.
The fact is that this is just my opinion, and nobody knows the truth just yet. It is the fear of the unknown that is worse for many people.
Some countries are doing better than others at preventing the spread of infections. The virus also doesn’t present itself symptomatically straight away and there is some time before infected hosts may be asymptomatic whilst also being contagious. This doesn’t help in a world that is a lot smaller due to nearly ubiquitous air travel and international trade between countries of goods and services.
Based on previous similar outbreaks like SARS in 2003 we saw a sharp rise in cases in the first three to four months or so of detection of the outbreak. After that, the number of cases starts to plateau. That’s where we need to be to start to see a decline in cases and tapering off of outbreaks. This could be due to man-made efforts to slow the spread along with self-limiting factors. The coronavirus could mutate, for better or for worse affecting that infection rate curve, but the SARS infection rate curve is similar to what I expect to see happen with Covid2019 in 2020.
Meanwhile, we can do self-care and wait for human-genius to make any antidots for this.