Recovering early 

#GS2 #Governance  

An improved recovery rate is positive news, but reducing new infections is crucial 

  • Data for COVID-19 is still a long way from giving a complete picture, but it is encouraging that the basic metric of the number of those recovering as a share of confirmed infections is showing improvement in India.   
  • National data on the parameters appear similar to disease trends witnessed globally, with the worst outcomes encountered among elderly patients — translating into a case fatality rate of 51.2% for Indians older than 60.  
  • Among the countries moving to a mass-testing strategy after a measured lockdown and successful control over viral transmission is New Zealand.   
  • Doctors in the United States have made a contrasting determination: of people who had the virus, but died of unrelated causes.   
  • These findings and trends underscore the importance of research on the progression of the pandemic in India.  
  • The comparatively low death rate from COVID-19 in India, officially estimated at 3.2%, remains a topic for systematic study.   
  • Even accounting for inability to identify all virus-caused deaths and misclassified fatalities, the absence of a large number of severely distressed patients in hospitals stands in contrast to the experience abroad, notably in the U.S., as well as many countries in Europe.   
  • India’s fatalities may be low, and an improved recovery rate will help revive the economy, there is genuine worry that patients with non-COVID-19 conditions are at greater risk for poor health outcomes due to lack of access to care during the pandemic.   
  • The public health strategy for COVID-19 has to sharply focus on helping people determine their infection status through widely available testing.   
  • This will enable selective quarantining, planning of welfare measures and participation of people who have recovered in trials for potential therapies such as convalescent plasma transfusion.   
  • With a relaxation of the lockdown, India’s strategy will need precise and intensive measures to drive down the reproduction number for the virus.  
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