Mathematical models haven’t accurately speculated course of Covid-19: ICMR Chief

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 29, 2020

Indian Council of Medical Research Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director-general Dr Balram Bhargava, no mathematical model has accurately speculated the course of the coronavirus spread so far. He suggested that in such a case, India should only focus on the containment of the virus and its prevention by testing tracking and treating, Livemint reported.

The director said in an interview that mathematical modelling could not be comprised of all the factors responsible for the spread of the virus. “They might give an idea about best and worst possible scenarios for nations to prepare their health infrastructure," he said as cited in the Mint report.

Looking at the unprecedented daily surge in cases, the mathematical model that was used to forecast the peak of the virus has been proven wrong.

According to some government models, the peak would end in July, and others said that the epidemic in India would be over by May-June. Some mathematical models have also predicted that the Covid-19 curve has flattened in India, but the predictions are not in line with real-time data.

ICMR stressed on the importance of testing and has ramped up its daily testing to more than 200,000. In the past 24 hours, 231,095 samples were tested, taking the total count to 8,227,802, as per the Livemint report.

“Test, track and treat is the only way to prevent the spread of the infection and save lives. This has been the approach used by us till now. It is being strengthened further. All the relevant measures are being taken to save lives and prevent disease spread," Bhargava said.

“Being a novel virus, the challenges are ample in front of us. We are trying hard to understand the virus, its virulence, its immune response, its epidemiology," he said.

So far, India has a recovery rate of 58.56 per cent with more than 320,000 Covid-19 positive patients have recovered. During the past 24 hours, almost 14,000 Covid-19 patients have recuperated from the disease, while 209,662 active cases are under intense medical supervision, health ministry data showed.

“One thing is very clear—until a drug or vaccine is developed, good hygiene practices like social distancing, use of mask, hand washing, cough etiquettes are the way to move forward," Bhargava said.

Published on June 29, 2020

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