The Moving Curve: Episode 60

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 — are we adequately factoring in asymptomatic transmission into how we move forward?

The Nature article on Guangzhou is here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0869-5

The finding that infectiousness peaks before symptoms show — that should truly give us pause. Because it should upturn a lot of how we think about going forward. For employers or authorities who think that thermal screening will be an effective safeguard, this should be a reality check. For ministers who think that a person boarding a flight without symptoms is safe for his co-passengers, this should be a reality check. I understand that we cannot all hide indoors forever, but we need to incorporate emerging evidence into how we plan our first steps outside. Ultimately, it does seem like random testing along some structured frame would be the only way out. Until then, let’s let the Guangzhou study guide our first steps back outside into the world.

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

I am a data journalist based in Chennai, India.