50% of Indians will have Covid-19 by Dec, 90% will never know about it: Report

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 29, 2020

V Ravi, Head of Neurovirology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, NIMHANS   -  SUPPLIED

The number of cases of novel coronavirus will increase after Lockdown 4.0 ends, warned V Ravi, Head of Neurovirology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), and nodal officer in the Karnataka Health Task Force for Covid-19 cited in the New Indian Express report.

“The country has not yet witnessed the spike in cases. The numbers will go up from June onwards after Lockdown 4.0 ends on May 31, and there will be community spread.

He noted that by December-end half of the country’s population would suffer from the coronavirus. However, 90 per cent of them would not even know that they have gotten the infection.

“It’s only 5-10 per cent of cases that will have to be treated with high-flow oxygen and only 5 per cent would require ventilator support,” he added.

He further suggested all the States to invest in the healthcare infrastructure to tackle the flare-up, especially those which will require intensive medical care and treatment.

To prepare the States to handle the spike, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), under the direction from the Prime Minister, has directed all the States to have at least two Covid-19 testing laboratories in each district.

Karnataka on Wednesday became the first State in the country to reach the target of 60 laboratories, reported NIE.

“Today, we have given approval for a Covid-19 testing laboratory at Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Bengaluru, and with that, we now have 60 laboratories, which will map up for the 30 districts in the State,” he said to NIE.

He informed that on April 15, he was given the task to set up 60 laboratories in the State, when there were only 15 testing laboratories. “I am grateful for all the support extended to us by the State Government. My dream now is to set up 75 testing laboratories in Karnataka by June 15 to increase our testing capacity,” said Ravi.

Mortality rate

Commenting on the mortality rate in the country, Ravi said that it ranged between 3 and 4 per cent, with Gujarat recording the highest mortality rate at 6 per cent.

“We will have to wait for the vaccine till March next year. People will learn to live with Covid-19, with all necessary precautions and preventive measures. The novel coronavirus is not as deadly as Ebola, MERS, and SARS,” he said.

Published on May 29, 2020

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