The Moving Curve: Episode 43

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 asking this one — what’s the best way to measure if the lockdown was successful?

My article for The Print on ways to measure the success of the lockdown: https://theprint.in/opinion/covid-19-lockdown-successful-or-not-there-are-5-ways-to-answer-this-question/415049/

Shreya Raman’s article for India Spend on other countries’ lockdowns and case counts: https://www.health-check.in/in-8-of-9-countries-new-cases-fell-within-a-month-of-lockdown-not-in-india/

Doubling times is another preferred GoI indicator

As of last week, scientists at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, estimated that India’s number was still 1.29: https://theprint.in/health/indias-r0-lowers-further-to-1-29-say-scientists-predict-covid-cases-at-30000-by-3-may/411421/

P D Vaghela’s presentation on medical infrastructure on May 1

News reporting by Mumbai Mirror on overwhelmed hospitals: https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/coronavirus/news/covid-19-ve-woman-spends-30-hrs-in-kem-parking-lot-waiting/articleshow/75171215.cms

So was the lockdown a success in containing the spread of covid? On the whole, the data does not paint a reassuring picture of us being in a more comfortable place than we were in the second half of March. On the other hand, I do think that the government is now fully aware of what we are up against, and is really firing all cylinders. Keshav Desiraju, India’s former health secretary said in his interview to me for an earlier episode that we are actually very good in times of crisis. If the rate of growth of new infections does not explode when the lockdown is lifted — if social distancing truly is maintained — then there’s hope that we could pull through, even if the lockdown has not placed us in a solid position of advantage yet.

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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