The first-ever analysis of COVID 19 outbreak pattern in India so far has revealed that the biggest wave of cases — that eventually led to significant local transmissions — came from Dubai, highlighting the concerns that the government might have delayed aggressively quarantining all international passengers by several weeks.
India now has 873 confirmed cases and the trend analysis is based on nearly 720 patients who have tested positive for novel coronavirus. Of these nearly 100 came from Dubai—from where a large number of migrant Indians come home. It is also a major transit point for Indian or NRI travellers from Europe and US headed to the country.
“A large number of positive cases travelled from Dubai, followed by the UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia and the US. It underlines the fact that we should have quarantined more aggressively in early March in order to limit the extent of the outbreak,” said Dr Anupam Singh, a public health researcher with Santosh Institute of Medical Sciences in Ghaziabad, UP, who has done the coding.
“The trend clearly emphasises the need to identify those who have travelled from abroad in the recent past and quickly test them and their contacts in a targeted manner,” he added.
Dr Singh’s analysis is based on the data put together by Covid19India.org, a crowdsourcing platform, which in turn is relying on the numbers and details by the central and state governments and other public information on the outbreak.
The analysis also reveals other interesting facets of Covid-19 cases in India. For example, as it has become increasingly apparent that men are more likely to test positive and more likely to die from the disease,
India too is no exception. Nearly 65% of all who have tested positive in India are men, as opposed to 35% women.
This proportion — compared to 60:40 internationally — is higher in India as the cases are now piling up. Most people who have died in India were in their 60s and the mean age of those deceased versus the mean age of those recovered is 65 years and 45 years, respectively.
The infection fatality rate, says the analysis, is around 2 per cent but Dr Singh cautions that “there could be some “overestimate/underestimate bound as not all hospitalizations are accounted for”.
Another significant finding is the infection rate among healthcare workers which stands at 3.6%, with 26 of them testing positive so far.