Coronavirus will peak in India in July end: WHO envoy
According to the World Health Organization's special COVID-19 envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, India's quick decisions helped it contain the coronavirus spread but that doesn't mean the worst is over. In a conversation with NDTV, Dr. Nabarro said the COVID-19 disease will hit its peak in India in July end, before getting contained. There will be more cases once the lockdown ends, he predicted.
For a population of over one billion, India is faring better as compared to other European nations, like Italy and Spain, or the US, where the infections touched 1,321,785 and 78,615 died. Across India, the number of infections stands at 59,695, and 1,985 have lost their lives. Since March 25, nationwide restrictions have been imposed which are scheduled to be lifted on May 17.
Dr. Nabarro said there will be a rise in cases in India. "When the lockdown lifts, there will be more cases. But people should not be scared," he told NDTV. "There will be sporadic outbreaks overtime immediately after the lockdown. Thereon, the outbreaks will be contained. Around July end, there will be a flat peak but it will get better," he added.
The expert said the lockdown helped in containing the spread to some states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Tamil Nadu. However, the impact has still been restricted to urban areas. "You have got the situation under control in most settings. It's difficult to control it in a dense set-up. You are certainly slowing down numbers. Your doubling rate is 11 days," he added.
About the mortality rate, he said the virus is more deadly in the old-age group. "It does seem that the mortality rate is higher in countries with a large population of old people. In hot climates, the virus doesn't spread very quickly. In India it is much lower than other countries," he said. His statements show India is doing a good job.
Dr. Nabarro's comments concur with the predictions of Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr. Randeep Guleria. On Thursday, Dr. Guleria said, "Going as per the trend, the peak [of coronavirus outbreak in India] is expected to be in June." He explained that once the disease reaches its peak, it is bound to come down.
"Lockdown has had a huge impact. The number of cases in India is much less in comparison to other countries who were where we were when we started out," Dr. Guleria added.