Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Cites PGIMER Study on Coronavirus, Institute Unaware of it


Hours after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh claimed that 58 per cent of the country’s population is likely to get infected with coronavirus while quoting a PGIMER study, the premier medical institute on Friday evening said it was unaware of any such study by its department.

During a video conference the media, hosted by the AICC from New Delhi, the chief minister quoted a study of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) and said the virus was likely to touch its peak by mid-September and may likely to affect 58 per cent of India’s population and 87 per cent of Punjab’s and other states’ population.

“COVID19 epidemic in India is estimated to reach its peak in mid-September 2020 at a point where 58 per cent of population has been infected,” he said, quoting the projections made by the Department of Community Medicine in PGIMER.

Quoting another figure from the projections by the institute, he said the virus can infect up to 87 per cent of the population of Punjab and other states.

Later, the institute issued a press note and clarified, “The PGI, Chandigarh is not aware that any expert/faculty member from the Department of Community Medicine & School of Public Health of the Institute has carried out any study/estimate that the COVID-19 may peak by mid September and can infect 58% of country’s population.”

This fact has also been confirmed by the head of Department of Community Medicine & School of Public Health of the institute, according to an official release issued by the Public Relations Office of PGIMER Chandigarh.

Thereafter, the chief minister’s media advisor Raveen Thukral said the report cited by Amarinder Singh was an assessment of an additional professor of health economics of PGIMER.

“Please note the report cited by @capt_amarinder is assessment of Dr. Shankar Prinja, Addl Professor of Health Economics, Dept of Community Medicine & School of Public Health PGIMER Chandigarh & his team, using standard mathematical models with Punjab data provided to him,” Thukral tweeted.

In another tweet, he said, “State Committee on Health Sector Response & Procurement headed by @mahajan_vini (additional chief secretary) with ex PGI director Dr KK Takwar as professional advisor had sought an urgent assessment of Punjab’s #COVID-19 scenario from Dr Prinja to plan its preparedness.”

The Punjab government on Friday decided to extend curfew restrictions till May 1 in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

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