But more importantly, India has been contact tracing like a greedy algorithm on steroids since case #1. There was a positive case in a condo nearby mine. The entire condominium building and adjacent locality is sealed. Not a lockdown, sealed. Nobody in, nobody out. The authorities spent over 9 hours interviewing all family members, neighbors, and friends of the infected for contact tracing. Every contact is being monitored, with police showing up randomly to make sure of no symptoms and adherence to home quarantine.
People are self policing mainly to avoid police, but they are self policing each other because nobody wants their buildings sealed. It really is working, I see people unwilling to hand over their credit cards in shops insisting to tap to avoid infections. In my state, there are only 85 active infections, only 2 are residents of my city, and even then I'm given gloves and sanitizer when I enter minimarts, with only 10 minute allowance to go and shop with maximum 4 shoppers allowed inside.
Edit: It becomes a big news when a positive case is found nearby. There is a distributed effort of volunteers to monitor infections (http://covid19india.org). There is no way government can lie about numbers.
Cops have stopped speed enforcement in my area, at least the dedicated speed traps.
If you're doing double the limit, or freeway speeds through neighborhoods, that's probably dangerous.
LICENSES REVOKED, he says, SHOULD NEVER DRIVE AGAIN. You sound like an old church lady waving an umbrella.
Which is also fun, but I won't defend it, as I've restrained myself from doing so for quite a long time now. Stupid kids are going to do what they're going to do, though, and the threat of losing their license probably won't make much difference.
That isn't speed. In my neck of the woods that will be called street racing. License revoked. Car impounded. Probably criminal charges. "Speeding" is doing 60 in a 50, 60 in a 30 because the "construction zone" stopped all activity a month ago but forgot to take down the signs. Or it is doing 32 in a 30 school zone ... when no student has attended a school in months. 100 is a different league.
Cases keep dropping, regardless.
I suspect a late cold snap and some snow a month ago, followed by a lot of rains in the last couple weeks, have also helped.
Calgary is having trouble -- that's where most of the cases are in AB -- but case load across AB and Western provinces is stable and below projections.
edit: cases in the province, via the CBC:
Calgary zone: 3,366
South zone: 685
Edmonton zone: 486
North zone: 202
Central zone: 84
The truth probably lies elsewhere, perhaps the population is overall a lot less susceptible, perhaps the genetics is such that adverse reactions are far less common, perhaps the weather conditions make the virus less virulent etc.
There is no way in hell that India was more locked down than Spain - yet Spain, with a population that is of a tiny fraction of India is still producing many more cases per day even today, more than a month after a full lockdown.
If anything Spain compared to say Sweden shows that brutal lockdowns don't work, the disease would have taken the same course had there been much less strict measures.
And, it has pockets of density that are mind-boggling, such as the slums at Dharavi. 9 to 10 people in a room, families taking 'shifts' in the same living areas, 100+ people per latrine in some parts.
Yet, absent a massive cover-up, no reports of mass deaths.
The same goes for many of the world's other dense cities: Manila, Caloocan, Port-au-Prince, Kathmandu, Subang Jaya, Tokyo (not to mention the dozen or so 10mill+ cities in China.)
When this is mentioned, the response is invariably that "they have an amazing lockdown system with state-of-the art contact tracing." Or, "well, THOSE people are very submissive and obedient to authority."
It's not believable.
What does it even mean to "lock-down" Dharavi?! That's absurd...
Millions of deaths were predicted.
There aren't millions of deaths.
Great. The lethality of the virus was grossly over-estimated.
Yet, instead of happily acknowledging this, there are some bending over backwards trying to maintain that the Virus magically avoids places like Dharavi (or homeless camps in LA, or San Fran, or the elderly-populated Florida) because of government pronouncements.
I don't live in Dharavi. I've been there. And, I know there are plenty of people from India on this site. Maybe I'm wrong, but I cannot wrap my head around ANY lockdown policy that would make a rat's ass worth of a difference to virus spread in Dharavi. Ditto for Mexico City, the slums in Monterrey, Lagos, and the urban/slum sprawl in the metro areas of S. America.
it is not fashionable to talk about, it does not fit the current narrative - the scientific "group think" when it comes to the virus is incredibly strong
Compare Denmark to Sweden and it gets pretty obvious that early lockdowns have an effect
People are staying in and following the curfew because thanks to a robust media ecosystem and insane connectivity facilitated by cheap data plans and accessible smart phones, most folks are aware of the severity of the challenge confronting the country.
There are significant issues, especially with testing and the plight of the unorganised migrant labour, with how this is playing out, many due to simply the massive scale and relatively poor Indian state capacity, as well as some political football from all players involved.
Nonetheless, a large reason why people are "complying" with the lockdown is (IMO) because of a lot of awareness and a high degree of social responsibility.
It is difficult to imagine how the microscopic "blue line", or khakhi line, in India, as it were, could "force compliance" in this situation if the society at large did not accept that it was required.
This argument that the large majority of the population is complying due to fear of the police or authorities is (IMO) a disservice to the maturity demonstrated by the Indian society.
I can only hope the Indian govt and political class can step up to the plate and manage the exit and restart of the economy with the same maturity and sagacity.
Edit: added link and clarified 2 sentences to improve readability
Then there are sub - total city wide lockdowns in certain states where absolutely no travel is allowed.
Lockdown limits can be increased by the states, but limits imposed by the center can't be diluted.
Overall, the reason is very clear as the parent says - Most extreme lockdown of any country (or) at-least compared to other countries where death rates are high; subsequently the cost being paid is extraordinarily high.
Here's WEF's report on India's cluster-containment strategy.
>Most of my Indian friends are the South and wealthy
India of Wealthy is radically different from others, Just $77,000 is required to be at the top 1% in the country.
> my province in Canada has imported 16 cases from India,
That's indeed very interesting. India stopped International flights on Mar 23 and the infections as of Mar23 were < ~500. Though it is possible that those 16 acquired the disease from super spreaders in India, the likelihood of them arriving in Canada is extremely low.
May be they contracted it in their flight to Canada or did they cross land border from US?
Do note that, India's infection rate is among the highest in Asia as of writing .
If you wanted to know, 'how many people does a single person spread the infection' i.e. R0 or R-Naught; then it has come down to 1.55 on 11th April from 1.83 on 6th April.
And I'm not talking about the effective reproduction number.
Have control over new infections and resulting hospitalizations so as to not overwhelm healthcare infrastructure. This is especially required in India, where a large section of the population is uneducated, lack propee facilities and live on daily wages, with little to no savings or assets.
As in South Korea, the idea is to ramp up testing so that the country can limp back to normalcy while affected areas are isolated.
Absent the strict lockdown, I dia does not have the infrastructure to handle the surge in cases.
Hopefully, the population gets immunity and effective medicines are developed to immunize or treat the disease.
Absent effective medicines being developed, which are very unlikely to appear for a long time, countries need to consider that they're choosing somewhere to fall along a spectrum of disease, or disease + poverty.
In Star Trek there's the famous unwinnable test, the kobayashi maru, and our hero Kirk says there's no such thing. This is the kind of naive arrogance that is going to amplify an already bad situation.
I don't know much about India or its particular situation but rising food prices are going to be a hell of a struggle.
Good luck trying to contain the flu that way. SARS-COV2 seems to be very virulent, but not so virulent like flu or measles that it can't be contained.
I'm just guessing really. People say flu can't be controlled in the same manner. But we also haven't done that experiment like we're doing now. So maybe the people who say that are just wrong.
This is what India is trying to achieve. Delay the spread (flatten the curve), ramp up health care facilities (doctors, beds and medicine), identify hot-spots and trace ruthlessly and finally hope that some medicine/vaccine would be quickly invented (the whole world is working on it).
I had assumed India didn't want to be a closed system.
It's not clear what the alternatives are?
I assume you're not advocating a no measures approach.
No lockdown even with social distancing still does huge economic damage and even then you would not get herd immunity - 60% infection rate is required.
This also ignores the potential for a chickenpox-like situation where the virus could reactivate itself, in which case exposing our population to the disease is just going to cause further issues down the line.
It's not a 'political' choice or about 'optics'.
It's also not just 'old' people who are dying. It affects 50+ year olds in not insignificant numbers.
It depends whether you prioritise health or economics.
You can balance health and economics and choose to prioritise one _before_ the other.
It does however requires the political will to support the economy (and the poorest) whilst health care is prioritised to buy time during the exponential phase.
If the world did somehow divide into green and red zones, you would have a worse problem on your hands. The red zones are the wealthier western countries, and are more desirable than the green zones. Good luck trying to maintain global economic relevance when you don't allow immigrants from the wealthiest countries in the world. There's a similar argument to immunity passports. If people need to be immune to the disease to re enter the workforce safely, they will infect themselves with the disease to do so.
The green zone will prosper, perhaps those wealthier western countries finding themselves in the red zone will no longer look so desirable. Of course I'm hoping it won't come to this, but it does seem to be the direction we are heading.
Of course, one way to reverse that situation would be to start opening things back up.
So looks like India is doing in practice what they show CDC doing in the US in the movies, such as in Outbreak.
These numbers seem far to low given the flippant nature most city dwellers are appearing to have to this disease and taking necessary precautions. To me, this is the calm before the storm.
How does this work with essentials like food and medical care? Does the government bring supplies to people since they can't go to the store?
Also government is keen on pushing a shady app for monitoring purposes, I home some one does a security audit of that app.
And the police has been acting in heavy handed manner. Instead of seeing this is a health care issue, the government seems to view this as some kind of law and order issue, and turned the whole country into a police state, putting countless people into misery, especially migrant labourers with hardly any concrete scheme put in to take care of them during this.
There has been serious lack of empathy and care towards the citizens from the government. Government seems to act to preserved face and reputation, rather than for the peoples welfare. Testing rates has been low, also testing is slow, it seems to take 2 or 3 days for people to get their test results. Projections, analyses etc has been hardly published by the government. Also many people have been testing positive more that 30 days, after they have arrived from out of country, that is still yet to be explained by the government.
Care to provide source?
>People are self policing mainly to avoid police, but they are self policing each other because nobody wants their buildings sealed.
I have seen videos of people violating lockdown without fear.
>There are only 85 active infections
85 infections which were caught.
There is some info here:
The US is #1 in infections for a reason: we are doing it wrong.
It's more likely that we're testing far more than most countries than "we're doing it wrong."
South Korea's positive test rates are somewhere in the single digits, the US is around 20-30%. That's not a sign we're "testing far more than most countries."
And in fact the limiting factors for test capacity is our ability to manufacture PPE, swabs, containers, and chemicals. All the things we've been busily outsourcing overseas to China.
The US media has just carefully worked to convince people of the opposite without technically saying as much, probably for stupid partisan political reasons. South Korea's positive test rate is low because they have few detected cases, and it's not actually clear why - social distancing definitely played a major part, since they had to impose stricter social distancing rules to actually get the number of confirmed cases to drop to the point they are now, but they've dropped those now and even outright lockdowns haven't had the same level of effect elsewhere.
I have a lot of relatives back in India who are doctors, and our hospitals aren't overwhelmed. There are very few cases. And they test every ICU admit for coronavirus.
take this article: "...others talk about the possibilities of the presence of a less virulent strain of the virus in India, along with the possibility that its hot weather was diminishing the contagion. Both these claims are not backed by any evidence."
they have such a hard-lined stance, which is odd because: ""To be totally frank, I don't know and the world doesn't know the answer,""
there IS evidence warm weather makes a difference. droplet virus last longer in the air colder / dryer climates, its why we have a flu season. This has been tested. you pair that with outcomes of countries based on climate, you see a trend that matches expectation.
so "Both these claims are not backed by any evidence.", literally the opposite is true. you could argue that maybe cv19 is different than other cv, but so far that isn't true. Not to mention India is younger than most nations on the planet, you have a recipe for a low risk nation.
And for a nation that initiated its lock down 5 days after New York City and to be attributing all their low effects from the virus from their actions? thats laughable. If anything, India is probably doing worse to itself
If you need to attack people to get your point across, it means your argument holds no weight.
You don't do lockdowns based on how some far away city is doing. Germany did lockdown months after Wuhan, yet they are doing fine.
> India is closer geographically speaking.
What does that even mean? Closer together? Closer together than jam packed NYC? Closer to jam packed NYC? Both of these are incorrect.
> Their lock-down was extremely late in the game.
Extremely late by what measure? Number of cases in country? Extremely late compared to which country?
> The 5 days after NYC puts in context just how far late it was;
So comparing to random cities puts things in context? How many days after Wuhan/Lombardy Germany went in lockdown? How does this comparison makes any sense?
> I'm sorry you do not have the ability to see the importance of that.
I am sorry you can't reason politely.
As a relatively rich country, the US has a natural advantage compared to poorer countries, but compared to other countries that have a similar per-capita GDP, that doesn't seem like an obvious conclusion. Hell, given how badly the creation of the original assays by the CDC went, and how distributed the healthcare system is, on top of the current political climate, the opposite conclusion seems warranted.
Some states like Kerala is doing active contact tracing. Also the first case was reported 3 months ago and not 2 months ago.
> >There are only 85 active infections
I am not sure which area the original author is talking about but less than 150 is the real active cases in some states https://dashboard.kerala.gov.in/
What are you trying to say? That there is no lockdown, or that a few people violate it or that its no use to lockdown?
Violations of lockdown are happening all over the world. If you are from the USA, better worry about the 60k+counting, avoidable deaths due to avoiding a lockdown.
How is what you're describing a greedy algorithm? The behavior is based on self-interest, but that's not what a greedy algorithm is. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greedy_algorithm
As far as I know, no one has died in this street in a month. The ambulance hasn't entered the street either. So unless there's a great conspiracy which most of us in the street are unaware, there really doesn't seem to be that many deaths. In fact the death rate is lower than normal, when people normally die, the first ritual is the blowing of a very loud horn in front of their house for an entire day. Haven't heard that in weeks. I live in the middle of the fifth biggest city in the country as well. It's likely many people in the street already have this but it's very unlikely that many or any have died from covid.
For reference, official disease tally for my city is now 570 cases.
But India has a federal structure, different states may have different policies. It is pointless to make one statement about the whole country, especially when the numbers are coming from states, not the center.
What? Why are doctors being beaten up? I don't understand.
Unfortunately, the law of large numbers in India means that a "very few" can mean tens of thousands of people.
Add in the fact that many hospitals in North America are short on PPE, and some are even preventing nurses and care personnelle from wearing PPE (or to bring their own, etc) - and you can see how much of an issue this can be.
Of course, beating up the doctors is a bad idea, but the roots of the idea that health workers are potential spreaders isn't all that far fetched.
One problem is that although only a very few will see it this way, other people would be cautious about being caught up in it. This could affect the way they behave because if they think that somebody died in their house from this disease then they won't want to advertise that at all (eg by blowing horns) in case they were subsequently targeted. The fear is likely worse than the reality but behavior like this is driven more by fear.
However I can understand that ramraj07 says it seems unlikely on their street as it would surely be difficult in a close community to hide a van coming to take Auntie-ji away.
Is that your view?
And to be clear, I'm not arguing that he was murdered. I was just pointing out that some Muslims consider that he was murdered. I mean, the doctor who led the CIA to him is still in jail, and likely will be for the rest of his life. And the lawyer who defended him was murdered by the Taliban.
> The Taliban began assassinating polio workers the year after the CIA used a vaccination campaign for hepatitis B, not polio, to identify Osama bin Laden's hideout in Abbottabad.
> There has been opposition to such immunisation drives from some powerful clerics while a fake CIA vaccination campaign, which helped to locate Osama Bin Laden in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, is thought to have had a detrimental effect as well.
> Further, there's a great amount of scrutiny into whether anyone's sick (see the reports of doctors getting beaten up even by the cops).
Perhaps they could share a link about that.
The anti-vax crowd in India tends to be on the violent side of things.
Could people be hiding deaths due to the stigma around COVID? Quietly taking their loved ones' bodies out of the neighborhood for funerals?
Take today's data:
Delhi - 3,314 cases. (likely to go up as data is updated for tonight). Total population of Delhi is 19 Million.
Rajasthan - 2,438 cases. Total population: 68.9 Million
Haryana - 311 cases. Total population: 25.4 Million
Haryana has less than 10% of Delhi's covid case numbers while being a much larger state and while sharing a big border with both Delhi and Rajasthan where the covid cases are much higher. Also, huge numbers of people travel between Haryana and Delhi on a daily basis. Haryana's numbers make no sense.
Uttar Pradesh - 2,134 cases. Total population: 204 Million
About 30% less than Delhi while being much, much larger than Delhi and sharing a huge border with Delhi with vast numbers of people travelling to and from Delhi! Uttar Pradesh numbers too seem heavily under reported.
Bihar - 403 cases. Total population: 99 Million
Bihar has much, much lower covid cases than even Uttar Pradesh when Uttar Pradesh's numbers were themselves already suspiciously low. Bihar shares a huge border with Uttar Pradesh and there is simply no way Bihar with a much poorer healthcare infrastructure can have such low covid numbers.
Both UP and Bihar has huge numbers of migrants working in Delhi, Mumbai etc which makes these numbers even more dubious.
So on the face of it, there are big issues with these numbers being put out by some of the biggest states in India. If these numbers were more accurate, the overall figures for covid cases from India will be much higher.
India shares a massive border with China and is right next to China while having almost the same number of covid cases as Peru - which is halfway across the world from China and which is relatively shielded from the rest of the world in comparison to India - in terms of number of travellers coming in etc.
What I was implying is that perhaps things did go okay in terms of slowing the spread in India: of course, there's probably more spread than is being reported, but that seems par for course everywhere.
I'm only worried that the lockdown is going to significantly affect the poorer communities worse at the expense of richer folks.
In such situations that is always the case. If there is a lockdown, poor will suffer financially. If no lockdown, poor will be exposed to the infection more than others since they have to be out working.
The fifth biggest city in India population-wise is Ahmedabad but its case count is 2378.
The fifth biggest city in India area-wise is Hyderabad whose case count is 542.
Therefore I assumed OP meant Hyderabad. Both counts are from https://www.covid19india.org/
Today’s fashion is drama and any not hysteric action must end in doom and gloom.
Sorry, what? The lockdown isn't about the rich or the poor. It is mostly about containing a deadly disease we don't fully understand yet. It is for the medics but also mostly to keep the social fabric intact. No one wants this to descent into chaos and madness without controls in-place. A deliberated and measured response is warranted despite an unprecedented loss of livelihood and absence of any real infrastructure to handle the fallout, especially to support the 500m people who live on daily-wages. Unless an effective prophylactic or a therapeutic treatment is discovered, lifting the lockdown can be disastrous for a country as dense as India and for incubation periods as long as they are for a rabidly contagious SARS-CoV-2.
Hopefully, the current situation improves in a month (most cities and states could possibly reopen in the coming weeks), but I wish the conversation around UBI (food subsidies including) and universal healthcare picks up steam rather than the pathetic pettiness around religious faultlines that seems to be in focus, all the time, aided by the ruling party's inclination to make a mockery out of democracy and India's minorities. I digress.
> Sorry, what? The lockdown isn't about rich or poor.
I think you misunderstood the parent comment. They are worried that the poor will be more negatively effected by the lockdown than by the coronavirus, in contrast to the rich. This has been observed in other countries, where the poor have had no way to sustain themselves without work, whereas the rich can just hide inside and wait it out without a problem.
GP said and I quote, "at the expense of the rich", which, to me, implies that somehow the rich are conspiring to persist with the lockdown. The families reliant on dialy-wages have always had massive problems in terms of education, healthcare, food, and shelter, and it isn't something the pandemic has birthed though it has aggravated it. There exists central and state government schemes to address these issues, but I wish there was a more systemic, consorted, and uniform approach to it with UBI and universal healthcare, instead.
The pandemic and quarantine haven't just aggravated an untenable situation, they're pushing it to the limits. The poor can't afford to not work, the rich can afford to remain in lock down. It's happening everywhere, not just in India.
There are those of us who can afford to be out of work for a long time, and there are those of us who can continue to work while maintaining quarantine, however there is a significant portion of the population that has run out of reserves and must work to live. These are people driving trucks, delivering packages, stocking shelves, generally putting themselves at risk while enabling the wealthy to remain quarantined.
I'm sorry it comes off like that. My intention was to point out that this situation isn't of advantage to anyone regardless of their social or economic standing. Sure, a lockdown is harsher on some people than the others, but life, in general, is harsher on some people more than on the others.
The pandemic is doing a great job at ringing the alarm bells. I hope it stirs the government and the policy makers into action and not use it instead for abhorrent religious and political mileage at the expense of steering away from building a support framework for all its citizens.
> ...using your command of the language to minimize the situation.
I'm not the one mentally replacing at the expense of with in contrast to.
> The pandemic and quarantine haven't just aggravated an untenable situation, they're pushing it to the limits.
You'd find that we are in agreement. I don't understand what part of my comment made you think I'm cold to their struggles.
As I said, it's the minimizing choice of language and your choice to ignore a grammatical error.
> I'm not the one mentally replacing at the expense of with in contrast to.
As I said before you're ignoring the grammatical errors in that sentence and paraphrasing to suit your argument.
> GP said and I quote, "at the expense of the rich",
That isn't what was said. The full quote:
> I'm only worried that the lockdown is going to significantly affect the poorer communities worse at the expense of richer folks.
Which is grammatically incorrect and doesn't make sense. However given the context and the structure of the sentence it's hard to draw the conclusion that you did. Rather, it's more likely the op mean to say something like:
> I'm only worried that the lockdown is going to significantly affect the poorer communities worse than richer folks.
But some how you've interpreted it to mean that the richer are willing to accept some self harm if it means harming poor communities?
Fwiw, I didn't somehow interpret it purposefully in any sinsiter way or choose to ignore an error to start an argument. For some reason, that's just how I read it.
No worries, a lot of that was probably how it sounded in my head.
Isn't the whole point of the article that this isn't the case?
The author rather paints a skeptical view of the numbers coming out of India.
To all the Indians here who are in the same situation, phew, I understand your pain. Hopefully this next extension is the last one and then it’ll be more limited to hotspots: and we will all be able to order from amazon again soon. I also hope the economy can open quickly and smoothly when the time comes.
According to the Johns Hopkins dashboard, India has peeked. Just like most other nations, India seems to have made it through the worst of it and is now on a downward trend. That is the mystery.
The article makes a few suggestions. Maybe the virus hindered by the warmer climate. Maybe the strain in India is weaker than others. Maybe India's relatively young population is just more resilient. Unfortunately, we just don't know yet.
Yes, it is "supposed" to flatten the curve always keeping some manageable number of people infected. So if you reduce the number of cases any further you are doing it wrong; because no, you won't extinguish the virus, you'll only prolong the lockdown.
Maybe I'm just ignorant, but could you explain how a lockdown is supposed to decrease the total number of cases rather than just prolong it?
A lockdown does not make a population more resilient to a virus. It just reduces contagion vectors so it spreads more slowly. The virus still spreads, though. Eventually, enough of the population will catch the virus and build up a resistance to it so that herd immunity kicks in. At that point, enough people will have been exposed to the virus that it does not have enough people to spread to and simply dies out.
I suppose the threshold for herd immunity is lower in a lockdown situation, but I am skeptical about it working to that extent. If my skepticism is misplaced and the lockdown really is that effective, then that also means India will have to stay on lockdown for a very long time to keep that herd immunity threshold low and completely starve the virus out.
It's not so black and white. We're talking about the area under the curve. The area under the curve varies nonlinearly with R0. But yes, because of the nature of the logistic function, a flatter curve will lead to fewer cases overall, once you factor in time and the assumption that eventually for whatever reason it will go away.
Once the number of cases is small enough, you can identify and quarantine all of them. With a good enough testing infrastructure this gets easier. You can then have a "selective" lockdown only around actual cases.
A nation is not a closed system so I don't see that ever working out.
Police beating people with lathis happened in many places all across the country, where people were insisting on breaking curfew, until people got the message. It’s also not terribly uncommon for the police to use such measures, especially where curfews are involved. I see no reason to doubt that it has been happening.
'Eyewitnesses said the cops beat Rizwan with batons and rifle butts'
Corporal punishment is still very much a thing in many parts of India, for better or for worse.
FWIW, India did implement a stronger lockdown much earlier on in the curve than other countries. State and federal authorities went lock-step in their actions, and with consistent messaging. Police enforced the lockdown at times even brutally, getting the point across to the general public. Indians watched UK and US struggle through a denial and late response in disbelief, like watching a car crash in slow motion.
It started already in the beginning, when the virus was spreading rapidly in China. Reports about the failing Chinese authority were all over the place, but nobody seemed to worry that when the virus would eventually reach Europe, we would be in trouble as well. After all how could we, with our superior health system and our governments that would react quickly and rationally on such a trivial threat as this.
When the virus had reached Europe, it had already reached South Korea and Taiwan as well. These countries had learned from the earlier SARS outbreak how to deal with it and thoroughly tested everyone that could possibly have the virus, symptoms or not. The reaction I saw in the media was mostly about the breach in privacy that these measures brought. Surely this was not something that we, as enlightened Western societies, would want. And anyway, what were we frightened of. This virus could never spread so fast in Europe as it did in China, because .. Well because of what actually.
Now that the pandemic has wrecked havoc in the entire Western world and most people are realising that a strategy of first constraining the virus (like in Wuhan) and then testing everybody to contain in (like in South Korea) is the only realistic way to deal with it, one might think that a bit of humbleness towards Asia would be in place.
Think again. What we're seeing more and more instead is denial. Investigations are started if the Covid virus was manifactured in a laboratory in Wuhan for instance.
I think it’s simply because it has been a while since disease and pestilence was a worry for the average Western country so the average citizen (and therefore the leaders) are complacent in a sort of “It can’t happen here” way. There have been outbreaks such as the AIDS epidemic or swine flu but nothing as impactful, infectious, and at the scale of COVID.
Whereas Asian countries have grappled with issues of SARS, Malaria, AIDS, Polio, and many more in the not so distant past and have learned the importance of taking public health seriously. The experience of the outcome of mismanaging a response to a previous epidemic is still “fresh” so to say in many of these countries. I think a good example of this is how South Korea dealt with SARS and evolved their response to COVID based on the learnings from that.
Lastly I wonder if the prevalence of more communal societies in Asian cultures make a difference. I can imagine it could make the problem worse but it could also be beneficial in the sense of providing strong societal pressures to quarantine/hand wash/social distance/etc.
Edit: And of course the misguided leaders in particular Western countries are not helping. Maybe the US this particular time is just a statistical outlier due to some mismanagement and there is nothing more to read into further than that?
I agree that this is the main factor. Consequently I proposed the concept of the "civilization immune system" to explain how it works: https://www.sonyasupposedly.com/civilizational-immune-system...
> Three Chinese citizen journalists have also gone missing after they uploaded videos showing a critical view of the situation in Wuhan to YouTube and Twitter.
> Cai Wei, a Beijing-based man who participated in one such project on GitHub, the software development website, was arrested together with his girlfriend by Beijing police on April 19. The couple were accused of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble,” a commonly used charge against dissidents in China, according to Chen Kun, the brother of Chen Mei, another volunteer involved with the project.
CPP propaganda strategically concentrates blame for any kind of domestic problem on local officials in order make the central authorities seem trustworthy and competent by comparison. While the local Wuhan officials definitely had an independent hand in the mismanagement, the central government had its role, too.
It's also arguable that the central government is responsible for the coverup activities by the Wuhan officials, because they're the ones who've created and sustained the system those local officials operate in.
I like this line of thinking, I think it better reflects reality then the often heard knee-jerk reaction assuming that China is an evil monolith.
I wonder sometimes why I bristle at the comments painting China as an evil monolith. They probably do the same to us. Both systems have their own ways of enriching and defending those in power.
Perhaps it is because I don't like to blame others for our problems? The US bungled tests, was late to quarantine, the feds were contradicting states, states were contradicting cities, hospitals muzzled health care workers, etc. None of that really has anything to do with China. It comes across to me as propaganda to blame them for all that!
GP is right, that you hardly hear it in the news.
Either Asian countries are lying because they are extremely advanced in their population centers and also authoritarian, which would be the only way for it to be news.
Asian countries are lying because they have the exact same organizational dysfunction as every country in 'the west', and also authoritarian, in which case it isn't news.
so which is it folks, superior technology cohesive culture and leadership, or organizational dysfunction no different from the west.
Unfortunately this article is in Russian, I'll provide google translate link, but it probably will be translated with errors.
Indian airports were doing thermal checks on passengers (using tech that had been installed during the Zika virus scare a few years back, I believe). The newspapers also had info about how anyone found with elevated temperatures were being asked to self quarantine, and the police was also following up.
The US had, absolutely nothing. Nada. Before the flight I was afraid that entering the US would be difficult, but it was clear (and it remained this way for over a month), that if anything, entering India, if not difficult, would actually involve checks, something that was non existent in US ports.
Further, and I don’t know if this is mentioned, the flight into India involved the cabin crew spraying some sort of pest control spray in the cabins before we landed. They mentioned it was due to regulations. Considering SARS-COV-2 has been found to have been easily killed (within minutes) of exposure to common disinfectants, could this spray have greatly minimized the virus entering the country, on baggage’s and clothing, etc?
When I landed at Heathrow, not even immigration folks had masks
People in India took it seriously in the beginning
That is why bed bugs have become resistant to it
India's lockdown started the day after the UK, and whilst undoubtedly the government has taken some strong measures to make the lockdown viable, it also faced unique challenges like significant parts of the urban poor population attempting to return home to families in their villages. Of course, despite being later than Western lockdowns chronologically, India's lockdown was earlier with respect to the known spread of the disease, but that in itself is a phenomena worthy of explanation.
When UK went in to lockdown, it had 6700 cases. (23rd March) 
When India went in to lockdown, it had 657 cases. (25th March) 
It sure feels like there are something not well understood about this virus from infection/death stats alone.
NYC at 6000 cases meant it had approx 1 positive in 1000, and the UK at 6000 cases meant it had approx 1 positive in 10,000.
So even if we assume that the US and UK were not undercounting, and that India was undercounting by a factor of 100 (!), India was about half as infected as the UK and an order of magnitude less infected than NYC when it entered lockdown.
True. I'd argue that there are other factors such as demographics, time elapsed since first cases, etc.
But I guess it's hard not to. Specially for media needing to fill column inches or otherwise capture our attention :-)
It should be possible to simply look at numbers and draw any conclusions but it seems to be very difficult for human beings to do that. We feel the need create a narrative around and find an explanation for our observations.
Added to that, apart from major cities, international travelers are minuscule in the general population. Consequently, the largest group of exposed citizens are from Mumbai & Delhi. Other cities are relatively less exposed.
The reality is probably that it's a combination of doing the lockdown well and the disease being far less deadly than initially thought due to very high asymptomatic infection rates. The latter is an emerging fact that the media here are in denial over. Therefore, they think India must be undercounting or something else. Awful and insulting.
BTW, in regards to US, the lockdowns here worked. NYC was the only place in the entire country that ended up getting hit bad. The rest of the nation has not been hit anywhere approaching what was predicted by models which took into account lockdowns. Outside of NYC, US statistics match Germany.
New Orleans: 0.65‰
New Orleans: 0.065%
Just want to point out that you didn't call that out explicitly. 99% (note that it's a percent) of people who saw your comment would see it and view it as a percent. I did, and I work with data all day every day.
It's unintentionally misleading to use notation like that without calling it out.
Just type "per mille" next time.
So I'm absolutely sure that Kazakhstan is doing better than many European countries and for sure better than US. May be our government is not the most democratic one out there, but they care about citizens and their tight grip over country allows them to make an unpopular but effective decisions.
Some western people just think that they are strictly superior everywhere to the developing countries. That might be true in a lot of areas, but it's not an universal truth.
The so-called western people, I'd argue, have the right mindset. I agree governments capable of draconian measures tend to do well when such behaviour control is desirable at a nationwide scale. That doesn't mean it is the only solution or even the best one.
I personally would pretty much prefer prevention, absent which, a measured, well thought-out, least disruptive policy around epidemics (I am looking at you South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam). Curtailing liberties, harsher restrictions, oppressive policing, regressive policies don't really fill me up with any sort of confidence. In fact, I worry that the citizens that are not just in acceptance of such a response, but in appraisal of it, are in for a grim reality-check when another unrest, epidemic or otherwise, rears its ugly head.
Considering behaviour of American population to the lax government measures, I guess strong laws/measures are the way to go.
I have my fingers crossed for everyone going through this, but only after the fact are we going to get a good idea of what happened (and that goes for Western countries too).
So many keystrokes and clicked bait on something nobody has any concrete insight into.
That said, while lower death rates (India's seem to be about half of the world's death rate) are to be celebrated, there are confounding factors.
1) The reported death count are mostly hospital deaths only. Home deaths aren't counted.
2) As the article notes, mis-diagnosing is a problem especially outside hospitals.
But if there's something that genuinely is reducing the death rate, then that's obviously a huge opportunity to study and learn from.
But during lockdown, reporting is to be done immediately.
Politicians, including the PM have clearly and multiple times explained their actions in a very clear and lucid language. Stateministers also have conveyed the same in a similar manner.
There was no tolerance on stupid questions from the beginning, and a huge emphasis has been put on scientists amd healthcare experts. Most of the experts also did not talk publicly, but advised the politicians.
The main reason for the low death rates is the lock-down/quarantine in place. India did this very quickly and very comprehensively. I would never have believed that such a lock-down would be followed and enforced in India if i were not living through it. It would be interesting to see how quickly the slope changes once the lock-down is lifted.
Other maybe contributing factors are; Sunlight & UV exposure, High Humidity, a healthy younger population, a better immune system (hygiene hypothesis) etc.
Simply said, the "Developed Western Nations" dropped the ball on recognizing the threat and putting in counter-measures and are now paying the price.
The western Nations are doing abysmally.
> USA has had [...]
> The western Nations are doing [...]
Erasing the plural makes it better, though I have to wonder why wouldn't you just write "USA is doing" however you think it is.
If we assume that the US counts in the "hit hard" category, then we can partition western nations by per-capita deaths like so:
Hit Hard: Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, UK, Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, US
Not: Portugal, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand
So I'm guessing that you either a) have a different definition of "hit hard" or b) have an expanded definition of "Western Nation". Eastern Europe and Latin America as regions haven't been hit hard yet.
The impact of covid-19 depends a lot on when it started spreading in a region. Most of the differences between European nations are probably due to when it started. A nation's response mostly affects how it compares to other nations which had outbreaks at the same time. I would guess that India is benefiting most from reacting early in the disease progression relative to other nations.
That is in spite of what is pretty weak compliance with the shelter-in-place directives.
This is no way to argue on HN. Be respectful to others even if they seem to not understand your point, then clarify further. Rhetorical questions like this are insulting and lead to poor discussions.
I think except the US, the UK, France, Spain and Italy; all other Western nations are doing fine.
My friend lives in a very populated area in Delhi called Tilak nagar and he told me in feb end iirc that the house opposite his has a huge plaque on it that says *Quarantine, this house has a covid patient" put on by police. This was the time when nobody knew how serious this thing was. So yeah it does seem they got some things right too this time.
Two of double pneumonia, both with travel history, but their tests came up negative. They were both healthy until very recently. One had arrived from the US, where the chances of community-acquiring-pneumonia are low as I gather.
One of cardiac arrest, but AFAIK she wasn't tested because she had no travel history.
Also, they had all the other symptoms as well including fever and shortness of breath. One arrived in India with respiratory distress. The other fell ill a week after visiting a Covid hotspot -- Mumbai -- which he managed to visit despite a travel ban because he was a hotshot politician.
Sorry, I should have qualified that fully. I meant clinical sensitivity for RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 for samples drawn from throat swabs, specifically. I know that my local hospital is only taking throat swabs, not nasal swabs; and all the press photos I've seen for testing in India is of throat swabs.