India Is At A Very Critical Stage Of Novel Coronavirus Or COVID 19 Pandemic As Community Spread Is Taking Place

Update 1: Read the related article in this regard titled “Community Transmission Of Novel Coronavirus In India Is In Progress And Real Fight Would Begin Soon“.

Update 2: Today (05-04-2020) is the 12th days of national lockdown that is also coinciding with the community spread phase of novel Coronavirus or COVID19 in India. The lockdown has been imposed so that community spread can be suppressed under the guise of lockdown. After the community spread lockdown period of 21 days, almost 80% of Indian population would have already developed temporary immunity against the virus and only 20% would remain that would require serious medical care and hospitalisation.

Update 3: We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) have already informed that the PCR test would become redundant for 80% of the population as due to forced and draconian lockdown, the community spread would have already resulted in creation of immunity among the 80% and their bodies must already have antibodies proving that they were infected by the community transmission and have recovered or are recovering.

Update 4: Now rapid tests (supplemented with PCR wherever needed) would be limited to only remaining 20% of the population and even among it the test would be targeted and focused upon hotspots and vulnerable areas and population only. So the remaining 80% population would neither face any problem nor would be subjected to any tests or treatments.

Update 5: Exceptional cases of serious illness and hospitalisation among the 80% population would be taken up for proper action in due course as it would remain subject to supervision, surveillance and tracing by the govt.

Update 6: Community transmission of novel Coronavirus is now subsiding in India and after the 21 days community transmission lockdown period, 80% of Indians would gain temporary immunity against the virus. But 20% population of India, especially the poor, migrant labours, etc, are more vulnerable to COVID19 infections and deaths. We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) request Indian Govt to take special care of these vulnerable segments.

REQUEST UPDATE 7 (06-04-2020): Please read this update/caution very carefully. While 80% of Indian population may have already developed temporary immunity against COVID19 yet people are not risk free. This population may include people who are asymptomatic. This population may include people who would be re-infected. This population may include people who are still carriers. So entire India must take all precautions like washing hands, maintaining social and family distancing, wearing masks, etc for not only your own safety but also safety of others. 

Update 8 (06-04-2020): The temporary immunity that we have developed against COVID19 is not permanent at this stage. It may last for few months or a year. This temporary immunity may become permanent in future, either through multiple natural infections, recoveries and development of permanent immunity or through vaccination. However, we have to see who would be needing vaccination in future as it would become useless for majority of global population once it acquires permanent immunity. Vaccination is different from cure for a disease.

Update 9 (06-04-2020): There are chances that COVID19 may become a seasonal disease for few years or lifetime but our permanent immunity would be developed for the same, one way or the other. Just like common cold, it may trouble us after few years for lifetime or it may mutate further and disappear once the global population is infected and becomes immune to it.

Update 10 (11-04-2020): We have lost the containment and community transmission battles in India and now we must brace for the tragic impact. We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) hope that the 21 days community transmission lockdown period was used by Indian Govt sensibly to strengthen the inadequate healthcare infrastructure of India.

Update 11 (11-04-2020): We at P4LO believe that continuance of complete lockdown would be a remedy worst than malady. We ignored testing and committed a big blunder, we ignored migrant workers and caused  big chaos. Our actions now onwards must be focused and practical in nature and not rhetoric like lockdown. 

Update 12 (11-04-2020): Stage 4 is activated when it is determined likely that COVID-19 is not contained. People stay at home, schools and all non-essential businesses are closed, rationing supplies and requisitioning facilities, limiting travel, etc. India is doing this for past 21 days as community transmission was already going on. 

Update 13 (11-04-2020): Community Transmission Stage Of Novel Coronavirus In India Is Already Over And Real Fight Would Begin Soon. We Are At Stage 4 And We Have Not Done Any Meaningful Testing So Far. This Gross Negligence Would Cost Us Many Lives.

Update 14 (12-04-2020): Almost 80% of Indians must have developed IgG antibodies as community transmission has been going on In India for long. The 21 days community spread lockdown period was imposed to contain that. We are now in stage 4, whether Indian Govt admits it or not.

Update 15 (12-04-2020): PCR tests would become useless for 80% of Indian population that has already developed antibodies due to community transmission lockdown period of 21 days. So PCR test would now be limited to 20% population, especially those living in slums, hotspots, quarantine centres, detention centres, migrant labours, etc. They are the vulnerable poulation that need urgent help and financial assistance.

Update 16 (22-04-2020): As predicted by us, Indian govt would no more conduct PCR tests for more than 80% of Indian population. Indian govt has already failed on the fronts of containment and community transmission stages/efforts and now the efficacy of its healthcare facilities would be tested soon.

Update 17 (22-04-2020): India was over relying upon the misguided and dangerous “Herd Immunity” concept that has put lives of many Indians in danger. Despite two draconian and useless lockdowns, Indian situation has not improved and cases of infections and deaths are rising sharply in India. India is facing highest death rate in the world for similarly situated countries vis-à-vis number of infections. Deaths in India were highest when we had 5000 infections and deaths in India are still highest when we have crossed 20000 infections. What has made this worst is that the testing rates of India are worst in the world and we are clearly underreporting both number of infections and actual deaths. Even Central Govt has shown suspicion about actual infections and deaths in West Bengal but that is not a State only issue. All over India neither we are testing enough people so there are much more infected people in India than shown nor we are reporting actual numbers of infections and deaths.

Update 18 (22-04-2020): While India failed on the front of PCR testing long back it has failed on the front of rapid tests as well. India has been using faulty testing kits that are giving false negative. While test accuracy of such kits is estimated to be 90% but in India their success rate is 5.4%, as reported by Rajasthan. West Bengal has also alleged that Central Govt has supplied defective rapid test kits to it. ICMR has suspended use of rapid test kits for two days and many States like Haryana have refused to use them temporarily. So as on date we have almost nil PCR and rapid testing in India.

Update 19 (22-04-2020): There is very bad situation at Indian hospitals. Patients with clear symptoms of COVID 19 are not tested by 90% of Indian hospitals. Even if they are tested and found positive, they are not immediately admitted for treatment and after much efforts they are admitted reluctantly. But the real problem arises here. Many patients have informed that hospital staff have ignored them completely. So bad is the situation that they are not getting even water for many hours/day. On lodging complaint by family members they are given false assurances that everything is fine and in many cases family members of such patients received the bad news of death of the admitted patients few days later. People are now cautious to go to govt and private hospitals due to lack of proper healthcare facilities and care.

Novel Coronavirus or COVID 19 is a pandemic that has made everybody in the world worried about it. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared it a pandemic but the efforts and preparations of various nations are still not up to the mark.

We at Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) started working upon a techno legal blueprint for the Coronavirus in January 2020 and offered our help to Indian Govt and PMO India too. We have been sharing our suggestions and insights regarding the novel Coronavirus continuously.

A very comprehensive thread has been created by me to discuss the past, present and future implications of novel Coronavirus that has received global applause and acceptance.

There are some crucial facts that have to be understood about novel Coronavirus. These are:

(1) It is a highly infectious disease that spreads through human-to-human transmission. This transmission can be aerosols or airborne based and medical professionals are at a severe risk of contacting the same through both modes/mechanisms,

(2) The fatality or death rate of novel Coronavirus is 3.4% as per WHO. However, it has been shown to be greater than that in many countries like Italy, Iran, etc. This is irrespective of the fact whether such countries have good or bad healthcare systems,

(3) Novel Coronavirus is “Asymptomatic” and people without any symptoms can and are transferring the virus to other people,

(4) Novel Coronavirus is more “Virulent” that other flu and that is why it is infecting so many people in such a short time,

(5) Nations are saying that novel Coronavirus has an incubation period of 14 days. In my personal opinion, it has an incubation period of more than 28 days and even in months. Cases of January 2020 are now visible in March 2020 in India and other jurisdictions,

(6) It is believed that novel Coronavirus can cause mild symptoms among 80% of the population and serious illness among remaining 20%. Out of this 20%, minimum 5% people would need intensive care unit (ICU) treatments,

(7) Novel Coronavirus can infect all age groups and there is no truth in the claims that only elderly people are vulnerable. From new born babies to people of 100 years of age, anybody can be infected, admitted to ICU and die,

(8) No country of the world has the capabilities to manage even 1% of the 5% population needing ICU support. India is more vulnerable due to big population and high density of population. For around 6 crore Indians, we just have 40000 ventilators, etc.

This list is endless but I cannot keep on going as I have to discuss a very crucial aspect of novel Coronavirus with Indians. Novel Coronavirus is neither a one time pandemic nor it can be contained by mere isolation. The most crucial action against novel Coronavirus is “Mass Testing” of people with symptoms and targeted medical facilities and services. Unfortunately, India lacks on both the fronts and as a result we have just locked a big percentage of global population at their homes who are already infected with novel Coronavirus.

While I support the containment actions but mere containment without any testing and medical support is a sure recipe of disaster that India just committed. At this community spread stage what we need is the following on priority and in same order:

(1) Provide masks, protective gears and adequate medical apparatus to our Doctors, nurses, medical staff and front line warriors. This includes people coming into direct contact with the infected patients,

(2) Build temporary hospitals with adequate beds so that the sudden surge in patients can be accommodated in the best possible manner,

(3) Arrange for more testing kits, ventilators, etc along with a good supply of medicines. Even basic and over the counter medicines must be in sufficient quantity as people would start panic buying the same soon. A quota must be set for the OTC medicines per person,

(4) General export of crucial medical equipments and medicines must be stopped by India. At the same time, countries in need of such medical equipments and medicines must be directly supplied the same through a dedicated plane in this regard,

(5) Lockdown has severe impact upon the Psychology of people and they would look for occasions to move out. A draconian restraint may be counter productive in India and the Govt must draft a techno legal policy to tackle this situation. Declaration of lockdown and imposition of Section 144 would not serve in the long run,

(6) Economy has taken a major hit due to novel Coronavirus. A relief package must be given by Govt. As we have limited financial resources, we at P4LO recommend that first priority should be daily wagers, poor and those living below poverty lines. We can revive industry and big players once we take care of the needy one. Ration of 2 months must be given free to such needy people so that they can stay at home and help in lockdown.

This article is part of the Techno Legal Blueprint of Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) that we have released in public interest. More would follow soon.

About Praveen Dalal

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