Mathematical models on severity of COVID-19 in India failed: IJMR

New Delhi: Various mathematical models on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in India carried a “strong element of bias and used assumptions” to foretell instances and deaths, an editorial revealed in ICMR’s Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) has mentioned.

It mentioned it “is a huge risk” to solely rely on these models for coverage choices on advance planning since predicting infectious illnesses for a brand new pathogen is an “extremely perilous proposition” and therefore it needs to be averted.

The editorial ‘Lessons learnt throughout the first 100 days of COVID-19 pandemic in India’ is penned by Rajesh Bhatia, former director of Communicable Diseases for WHO’s South-East Asia Regional Office, and Priya Abraham, director of ICMR-National Institute of Virology.

Several mathematical models projected the severity of pandemic in phrases of instances and deaths and not less than in the context of India, none of these proved right and did not predict the organic phenomenon of infectious illnesses, it acknowledged.

“It was obvious that the models proposed during the COVID-19 pandemic carried a strong element of bias and used assumptions which proved to be far from real,” it mentioned, including estimates of modelling research are “only as good as” the validity of the epidemiological or statistical mannequin used and accuracy of assumptions made for modelling.

Another lesson learnt throughout the first 100 days (Jan 30-May 10) was that evidence-based technique to scale back viral transmission labored for a shorter time as in spite of the intensive and extended lockdowns, the quantity of new instances continued to rise in India, the authors mentioned in the editorial.

“Multiple eruptions of cases in new locations were reported, indicating breaches in the implementation of lockdown,” they mentioned, stressing the necessity for creating and implementing plans via micro-planning for native space utilizing knowledge generated domestically.

However, they added, the impression of lockdown was seen initially and it offered the much-needed time to strengthen well being techniques and guarantee public engagement.

They additionally talked in regards to the impression of uncontrolled motion of migrant populations, saying their exodus to native locations was not anticipated however needed to be curtailed in the context of nationwide lockdown.

Citing growing each day instances between May 1-10, the editorial mentioned the COVID-19 pandemic has not been uniform in India. It additionally mentioned the pandemic has highlighted that safety and preservation of susceptible senior residents needs to be a precedence and that sturdy threat communication methods and entry to medical care are important to guard them.

Besides, India wants a everlasting community of not less than 1,000 laboratories with PCR amenities with not less than one laboratory in every of its 734 districts and a number of such amenities in cities and metros, it mentioned.

The disaster additionally underscored that public engagement is the important thing to comprise COVID-19 pandemic and early response, efficient command, complete of-government method and powerful political management guarantee targeted and coordinated actions.

It delivered to the fore that frontline staff want safety from an infection and ignorant communities as have been a couple of unlucky situations the place communities, “out of ignorance”, protested towards their residing in the neighbourhood. “Active dialogue with the communities to promote their engagement to recognize and respect these workers is the need of the hour,” it mentioned.

The editorial highlighted that India might efficiently and quickly scale-up a number of necessary interventions however then “SARS-CoV-2 is an unknown treacherous enemy” and there’s no area for complacency.

“It can strike in hitherto unknown ways. It has the potential of causing greater disruption and destruction. India cannot afford any complacency. Caution should be the keyword during the days to come,” it mentioned. 

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