New Delhi: The Indian government has employed its sources and done the math on how quickly the COVID-19 virus can spread from one cell of the body to hundreds of people, and the result is something every individual should be scared of. Also Read - Delhi: Containment Zones Rise From 8,661 to 9929 Within 2 Days | Check Full List of Hotspots Here
According to a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, gathered by NDTV, it is possible to contain or “interrupt” the transmission of coronavirus in India, “but only in the most optimistic scenario”. Also Read - Delhi Enters Weekend Lockdown, UP To Impose Curfew On Sunday As India's Fight Against COVID Continues
We already know the story of how the viral disease spread from a spot in Wuhan city to all of China. It started in late December in China and took just 67 days for the virus to infect the first 100,000 people worldwide. Remarkably, it took 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and only four days for the third 100,000 cases. Also Read - Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri to Remain Closed on Weekends
So going by the ICMR report dated February, in the most optimistic scenario, the contagion could drop symptoms in some 1.5 million people in Delhi, with nearly 500,000 cases each in Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, few of the most populated cities and international travel hubs. It’ll peak in a period of 200 days.
However, in a pessimistic scenario, the active cases could soar as high as 10 million in the national capital and 4 million in Mumbai and all in just 50 days.
It the optimistic scenario, it is assumed that at least half of the symptomatic cases are quarantined and within three days of developing a sign. Given the trajectory of the reality a month after the report was written, it is just an optimistic scenario at best.
“You have to remember this is purely a mathematical model done about a month back,” said ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargav, as quoted by NDTV.
The vital measures like thermal screening and complete social distancing started earlier this month, not in February. This is when the contagious disease has already marked itself in places across the country.
Foreign travels, analysed as the most probable cause of the disease, was banned earlier this month even though the transmission around the world started in January. As a result, passengers landing in India became carriers and traveled cross-states implanting the virus from place to place.
A ban on domestic flights was imposed on Sunday from March 25.
Although the government has repeatedly asserted that India has not yet entered the third stage – community transmission, it is imperative to note how the number of cases have escalated in the last two weeks. The total active cases in the country stand over 470 currently with 9 deaths reported.
Looking at the situation in hand, WHO Executive Director Dr Michael J Ryan asked India to continue taking aggressive action at public health level. “India like China is hugely populated and future of COVID-19 to greater extent will be determined by what happens in densely populated large countries. It is really important that India continue to take aggressive action at public health level,” Ryan said.