Episode 68: Symptom Failure

Hello and welcome to The Moving Curve. I’m Rukmini, a data journalist based in Chennai. Every night on this mini-cast, I consider one question around the novel coronavirus epidemic in India. Tonight i’m considering this one — is our screening for symptoms based in fact?

The ICMR study is here.

Dr Anupam Singh’s tweet
Dr Kalantri’s tweet

Delhi government’s decision to limit testing is here.

The part that I have sympathy with state governments for is this: testing all asymptomatic household members creates a huge cohort of people to be tested. If a state government is falling short of people to do contact tracing to identify these contacts, or falling short of testing kits, or money to buy them, or laboratory and manpower capabilities to do the tests fast enough, they need to come right out and say it — maybe someone will be able to step in and help them. But this way — tightening testing criteria presumably because you can’t manage the burden that the national criteria is throwing up — especially when you are a state with the third highest burden and a big recent spike in cases, is the wrong way to go about it.

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

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I am a data journalist based in Chennai, India.

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