India's health ministry has dismissed the report ‘Predictions and role of interventions for Covid-19 outbreak in India’ written by scientists at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
The report, which claims that India might end up with 97,000 to 1.3 million coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections by mid-May, states that isolation orders are not sufficient to contain the virus.
Rejecting such claims, the ministry questioned the study's modelling and sample size.
“There are a lot of doomsday predictors. A study in 90s had stated that there will be 40,000,000 people infected with HIV but that didn’t happen. If we follow the measures suggested right now, there will not be a lot of cases,” the ministry said.
“Such reports keep coming and we should not bother unless they come from some authentic source,” said joint secretary Lav Aggarwal.
The study, based on cases until 22 March, suggested the “need for building dedicated new hospitals as China did in Wuhan”.
Media Must Refrain from Reporting Isolated Cases
The Indian Health Ministry, in its daily briefing, also urged the media to not report isolated cases of community transmission of coronavirus as this could lead to panic.
Reporting one positive case in which a link can’t be mapped doesn’t mean it’s community transmission. Such reports will only create panic, the ministry said.
The ministry has stated that community transmission has not yet started in the country.
The ministry secretary said that "while the numbers of COVID19 cases are increasing, the rate at which they are increasing appears to be relatively stabilizing. However, this is only the initial trend".
India has recorded 649 cases of COVID19 and 13 people deaths. The authorities have issued strict orders to implement social distancing during the 21-day lockdown in the country.