Half of India’s population could have corona by December: Expert

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A health worker checks the temperature of a woman during lockdown to prevent the spread of new coronavirus Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat. — Courtesy photo



Saudi Gazette report

NEW DELHI —
India will witness a spike in coronavirus cases after the current lockdown ends on May 31, and 50 percent of the country’s population is “likely to be infected with the virus” by end of December, a doctor and member of a COVID-19 task force said, according to a local media report.

Dr. V Ravi, head of neurovirology at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS), told New Indian Express that there will be community spread but 90 percent of those expected to be infected will not know they contracted the virus.

“It’s only 5-10 percent of cases will have to be treated with high-flow oxygen and only 5 percent would require ventilator support,” Ravi is quoted by New Indian Express as saying.

He also said states should be “fully geared up with medical infrastructure to handle the increase in cases, especially those which will require intensive medical care and treatment,” according to the report.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to direct all states to “have at least two COVID-19 testing laboratories in each district.”

India has so far confirmed 165,386 coronavirus cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally, and recorded 4,711 deaths.

Ravi said the country’s mortality rate ranged between three to four percent, with Gujarat recording the highest at six percent.

“We will have to wait for the vaccine till March next year,” Ravi is quoted by New Indian Express as saying. “People will learn to live with COVID-19, with all necessary precautions and preventive measures.”

India has a population of 1.3 billion, according to latest statistics.


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