The Moving Curve: Episode 61

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 can Bihar’s testing of returning migrants tell us about the epidemic in India?

The SARI paper in the IJMR is here: http://www.ijmr.org.in/article.asp?issn=0971-5916;year=2020;volume=151;issue=2;spage=236;epage=240;aulast=Gupta

The Wuhan restaurant study is here: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0764_article

The Guanghzou study on asymptomatic transmission is here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0869-5

The New York study on covid-19 in women getting admitted for deliveries is here: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2009316

Bihar’s migrant testing data is here:

The Bihar data shared by the former state health secretary

Perfect random sampling might be something that’s out of reach of most cities and state governments. Publishing quality research right now might be another thing they cannot pull off. So in its absence, there’s no harm attempting these crude dipstick sort of tests of high exposure groups, either by an RT-PCR test if they’re hoping to isolate and treat the people they find, or through an antibody test if they need to get a sense of the issue and direction for where to do more diagnostic tests. Bihar has shown the way.

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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