Sunday, March 01, 2020

India suggests COVID-19 will behave like a bad influenza pandemic

I've been watching India on the Hopkins CSSE map for weeks. Even as case reports appear to the east and the west, India remains quiet.

India, population about 1.4 billion. India, not known for Singapore class public health. India, with life expectancy of 69 years (China is 76y). India, connected to the world.

What are the chances that India has 3 cases of COVID-19?

One in a hundred? One in a thousand? Lower than that I think. It must be everywhere in India (including in Trump's mass party).

If COVID-19 had a 2% mortality rate even India would notice. If it has a non-Wuhan China rate of 0.7% (where denominator is limited by testing criteria which is in turn limited by test cost), India might not notice.

So somewhere between 0.2% to 0.7%. Bad enough to justify a smarter and better response than the Trump administration is capable of providing, but not 1918 flu pandemic levels. In an ideal world it would be a wake up call for the US to do what it should have done years ago. In an ideal world, of course, Donald Trump would never have gotten within a thousand miles of the presidency. The only way we'll get better is if he's defeated.

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