- India’s health minister Harsh Vardhan announced Wednesday that there are 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.
- These confirmed cases are just the tip of the iceberg as India represents a perfect environment for a contagion to occur.
- Horrible sanitation conditions and dense population means the disease could have already infected thousands.
India’s health minister Harsh Vardhan announced Wednesday that there were 28 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country so far. After remaining a spectator to the pandemic so far, India is now officially under the grips of the disease.
India has the perfect conditions for the disease to become rampant: high population density, lack of sanitation and poor infrastructure. But could coronavirus already be widespread in the country?
Government’s Coronavirus Containment Measures are Weak
Several studies show that the number of coronavirus cases can double every 6.4 days. Since India is among the most densely populated countries in the world, the cases could double at an even faster rate.
The Indian government didn’t prepare well for an imminent contagion. Given that coronavirus is spreading fast even in developed countries, India is a sitting duck.
After the first three cases were confirmed, the Indian government didn’t act fast enough and ban travel from coronavirus hot spots like Italy and Iran.
Italy has exported coronavirus to many countries. So, it wasn’t a surprise when India’s health minister confirmed that 15 out of the 22 initial cases in India were Italian nationals.
Worse, before these people were detected, they came in contact with at least 40 people in India’s densely-populated capital Delhi.
Those people are now under surveillance. Delhi packs about 30,800 people per square mile, so it’s highly likely that the Italian nationals came in contact with a lot more than just 40 people.
Numbers Coming Out of India aren’t Reliable
The official number of coronavirus cases and deaths in India could be underreported due to unreliable data gathering. Data suggest only 77% of total deaths in the country are registered. Of those deaths, just 22% receive medical certification.
It gets worse as even when deaths are medically certified, doctors are more likely to get the cause wrong.
Judging by these figures, someone in India may have already fallen victim to the coronavirus. If that’s true, then the cases in India could already be in the thousands, according to the estimates of Professor Neil Ferguson.
The lack of infrastructure and sanitation, along with the high population density, could make India one of the worst affected regions in the world.
Unless the hot summers of the region drastically slows down the disease, the cases could grow exponentially in the coming months.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.