Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — how do we read between the lines of sero-surveys?

Prof. Sandeep Juneja’s bio is here.

The Mumbai sero-survey’s first round is here.

Round II is here.

So just to sum up: the Mumbai sero-survey showed high prevalence in the first round, but real prevalence was probably even higher. The second round showed what appeared to be a decline in slums and an increase in non-slums, but because of what we know about antibody decay, a decline doesn’t really mean a decline. But from lab-confirmed cases, we do know that most of the recent surge was in non-slum areas. …


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — where does the virus go from here?

Dr Manoj Murhekar is the director of the National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai.

The ICMR’s first sero-survey is here.

Their second sero-survey’s key findings are here.

The Mumbai sero-survey’s first round is here.

The second round is here.

As Dr Murhekar says, however, he does not expect these next surges or waves — we’re not yet sure what they will look like — to be quite as intense as the first one, unless circumstances around the way people interact change quite a bit. …


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — can citizen oversight help keep the government’s covid numbers honest?

My reporting for IndiaSpend on missing deaths in India’s count is here.

Here’s reporting from Arunabh Saikia on Assam that found similarly.

Dr Arun N Madhavan is on Twitter here.

You can see the spreadsheet he references here.

By building a narrative that the state that reports the most numbers is the one that is doing the worst, rather than being the one that is doing the best at transparency, I fear that we’ve created an environment where we’ve completely disincentivised honest reporting and this sort of dialogue. Not that this excuses a government like Kerala — honest reporting is a duty, even in the face of hostile media reporting. …


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — why exactly did India’s pandemic peak and then decline in mid-September?

Gautam Menon’s bio is here and here.

His Twitter is here.

A recent article by Prof Menon for The Hindu on the Indian ‘supermodel’ is here.

His article for The Wire about whether the curve is flattening is here.

I found his explanation terrific — there are things that we know, and things that we do not, and it’s useful to make a clear delineation between the two. I hope to ask more such questions to understand what exactly we know so far and what we do not on future…


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — what is it like to lose someone to covid?

Shreya Raman’s work at IndiaSpend is here.

It’s hard to know what to say, what I can say that can make any of this terrible pain make sense. I’d like to thank Shreya for speaking to me, and my admiration for her only grows.

Thank you for listening. This episode was edited by Anand Krishnamoorthi. On the next episode — a new question.


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — what does it feel like to get covid?

It’s Day 259 of the novel coronavirus epidemic in India, and we are reporting 7,244,113 cases with 110,686 deaths. This is the 99th episode of this podcast, and while I’m very proud of all the conversations with experts that we’ve had, I’m intensely conscious of the fact that I haven’t directly confronted the human aspect of the virus — what encountering it has felt like. …


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — what can research from India now tell us about the nature of the pandemic?

Prof Ramanan Laxminarayan et al’s paper in Science magazine is here.

My article in Mint about the paper is here.

Between the two, I got an insight not only into how the pandemic is playing out in India, but also how these insights from data translate into policy.

Thank you for listening. This episode was edited by Anand Krishnamoorthi. On the next episode — a new question.


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — what did the ICMR’s sero-survey really tell us?

The ICMR’s published sero-survey paper is here.

My earlier interview with Dr Manoj Murhekar on the 2019 dengue sero-survey is here.

The Telegraph story about containment zones being left out is here.

A reasonable period of time, and better transparency about the data used and that not used, that’s my hope for the second survey. I thank Dr Murhekar for his time.

Thank you for listening. This episode was edited by Anand Krishnamoorthi. On the next episode — a new question.


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Two nights a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — how is the pandemic playing out in India’s hinterland?

It’s Day 228 of the novel coronavirus epidemic in India and we are reporting 4,845,003 cases with 79,754 deaths. Earlier this year, I interviewed Dr SP Kalantri, who is the Medical Superintendent at Kasturba Hospital & Professor of Medicine for over 30 years at the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Wardha, which is in eastern Maharashtra’s deprived and rural region of Vidarbha. …


Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Twice a week on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight I’m considering this one — where is the accountability for a huge mistake that we have made with testing?

The data on test positivity that Mumbai now releases is here.

An article I did for India Today using the testing numbers Delhi disclosed in court is here.

Aneesha Bedi’s interview for The Print of Dr S.K. …

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