Covid-19 cases in India stand at over 1.2 lakh as on May 23. Surely, the numbers are rapidly rising every day. The mainstream media is busy flashing the number of new cases, the new containment zones, and the badly managed hospitals; it is discussing the efficacy of the lockdown.
Yes, the numbers are spiking, but they will continue as the number of tests increases. The question that we need to ask ourselves is this: why are we focusing on the total numbers? We need to focus on the total number of active cases. And we need to focus on the total number of deaths, instead of positive cases, most of which are asymptomatic anyway.
The total number of active cases is 70,000, but many of them are asymptomatic or mild; essentially that means they are not in any serious condition; and their treatment can even be undertaken at home. Of this, we must figure out how many are serious and how many are with mild conditions.
The focus then should be on treating and giving the required care to the not-so-mild and critical patients. That takes the world load off the medical staff as well.
The number of deaths is just a little over 3,700. While it is extremely unfortunate that lives have been lost, the numbers are not something to fret over, considering India has 1.3 billion people. India has done well in managing to keep the numbers low.
Just a couple of months ago, many experts including Ramanan Laxminarayan, the founder and director of the Washington-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) and lecturer at Princeton University, predicted that the disease would prove to be an “apocalypse for India” and that as many as 80 crore people could infected with the coronavirus.
Thankfully, nothing of that has happened. Let’s admit that India has done well in handling the pandemic and, despite many naysayers, the country’s image has improved significantly in the last couple of months—primarily because the help it has extended to other nations.
India is now gradually opening up the economy. As economic activities resume, the number of coronavirus cases may increase. The need of the hour is to fight negativity and fear psychosis.
We must ensure that the fatality rate stays as low as possible but refrain from arbitrarily testing people. In a country like India, this kind of an exercise is not feasible, and will only lead to be a waste of manpower and money..