Without lockdown, virus could have affected 8.2 lakh by April 15: Analysis

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/without-lockdown-virus-could-have-affected-8-2-lakh-by-april-15-analysis/articleshow/75102680.cms

NEW DELHI: A day after it said that there was no such ICMR
study, the health ministry said on Saturday that there was a “statistical rate of growth-based analysis” that without a
lockdown and
containment measures, Covid-19
cases could be projected to spiral to 8.2 lakh by April 15, registering a 41% cumulative growth rate.

Though the health ministry had on Friday denied reports about an ICMR study that the ministry of external affairs had referred to in a briefing to foreign media, it clarified that the chart was a statistical analysis. However, it maintained that it was not a report or a study. The projection, explained by
Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the health ministry, takes into account containment measures alone, without implementation of the lockdown.

The statistical analysis also calculated that in a scenario without a lockdown, a total of 1.2 lakh positive cases could have been reported by April 15 if the peak growth rate of the disease at 28.9%, seen before the lockdown was initiated, had sustained. At these rates, as of April 11, the cases could have been 2 lakh with just a lockdown and around 44,000 with only containment measures, in keeping with the two projections.

Agarwal’s comments were a partial walkback on the ministry’s position on Friday. The government said that it was a statistical exercise. The clarification pointed to the need for closer coordination within the government as an MEA representative was in fact present at Friday’s Covid-19 update.

In the current situation, after the implementation of the lockdown as well as stringent containment measures, India is witnessing a significantly lower number of positive cases at 7,447 as of Saturday, Agarwal said highlighting the importance of the measures and social distancing.

“India’s response to the
coronavirus pandemic has always been pre-emptive and proactive to the extent of being overprepared. We have taken a graded approach depending on the situation,” Agarwal said.

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