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By Shafaat Khan, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, New York, TIO:
Before we start to take the facemasks off, I want to take the gloves off, and bring your attention to some very disturbing facts…’ek kahawat hai ke nasamajh dost se samajhdar dushman behter hota hai’…but currently the problems are much more dangerous, so they deserve a very close and in-depth study…On paper, India’s reported Mortality rate is low compared to other countries with high infection rate, for eg. India is at 1.7% (its 11.7% in the UK and 12.6% in Italy)…and the PM Modi’s target of bringing down the fatality rate below 1% can be achieved soon, but, unfortunately, it is all a success only on paper, and not in reality…flush with this false assumption, the government has begun rolling back restrictions even on subways, and soon sporting events, etc will allow large gatherings.
Also, Read : CoronaVirus – A Harsh Reality Check!
But, as with everything else, nothing about India is simple…scientists warn that India has a weak, underfunded public health infrastructure, and the following realities come to mind:
— If you die, your death may not get logged in the system. And even if it is, it likely won’t get a cause of death, and so won’t be included in the COVID death toll
— India still has one of the lowest rates of testing per capita in the world (only 1 out of 100000 people per day)
— The epidemic has intensified since June (it added 1 million cases in only 14 days in the past couple of weeks)
— Antibody tests suggest that India may be under-counting infections by a factor 50 to 100 (meaning the true number could be upwards of 50 million to, listen to this, 100 million, as opposed to 4.4 million COVID19 cases being reported,
– For years India has failed to record the deaths of its citizens — only 86% deaths are even ‘registered’ in govt systems, and only 22% of all deaths get an official cause of death certified by a doctor,
— Majority die at home, not in a hospital, and most hospitals are not covered by the Health Ministry’s medical certification of cause of death (MCCD) web portal…in other words, the cause of death is not even in the national database…other hospitals also have issues like data errors or missing information,
– In Delhi, only 63% of deaths get the cause of death certification,
— Only 35% deaths in UP, Bihar, and Jharkhand get registered, forget cod cert (MCCD)
— There’s also the issue of undercounting COVID deaths due to insufficient testing and poor medical coding.
— Even if a Covid-19 patient tested positive before dying, their pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or cancer, etc. could be recorded as the cod (cause of death)
— Deaths have jumped from around 750 a day at the start of August, to more than 1,000 a day this week
So it’s unclear if India has a lower mortality rate than other countries in the region…I would exercise extreme caution and take any data provided by the government with a grain of salt, because this is a matter of your life and death, be afraid, be very, very afraid!
Compiled and Curated By Maham Abbasi