For recovery and containment of COVID-19, the lockdown period has to be minimum 10 days, while environmental factors such as temperature and humidity do not affect spreading patterns, according to a multi-disciplinary study on the coronavirus spread in 42 countries submitted to World Health Organisation (WHO).
The study by five faculty members of engineering, medical and market analytics — Dharun Kasilingam from Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad (MICA), Sathiya Prabhakaran and Varthini Rajagopal from National Institute of Technology Tiruchirappalli, Dinesh Kumar from National Institute of Technology Goa and Santhosh Kumar T from Department of Pediatrics at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) Pondicherry, used marketing analytics tools to study the spread and containment of COVID-19 in 42 countries, including India.
“Early containment is possible if the number of lockdown days is at least 33.7 per cent of the days since the first contact to contain the infection. Countries show recovery signs if the lockdown is at least 10 days or more. For countries on a lower lockdown period of lesser than 10 days, the number of deaths per million population plays a significant role in containing the infection,” the research says.
The research paper has also appeared in the journal Transboundary and Emerging Diseases that carries research on infectious diseases considered to hold economic threat to animals and humans worldwide.
Talking specifically about India’s case since the first infection in the country (January 30, 2020) till March 26, 2020, Prof Dharun Kasilingam from MICA said, “Claims have been made by government and international organisations that the numbers are less and the country is doing an exceptional job in containing the virus. However, the actual data points were above the assumed exponential curve indicating a very dangerous uncontrollable growth. Though the numbers were a minute fraction of the population of the country, the growth rate was exponential.”
Adding on the recent numbers plotted till April 14, he said, “Here again, we can see that the data points are above the assumed exponential growth curve… The policies and initiatives taken by the government have worked to an extent. However, we are very far from saying we have controlled the infection. The growth is still exponential and dangerous. If this trend continues for the next 15 days (till April 30), we are looking at confirmed COVID-19 cases reaching over 52,500.”
“The research aims to understand the countries that show an early sign of containment of the COVID-19 virus through exponential growth modelling and identifies countries that have showed an initial sign of containment until March 26, 2020,” Prof Dinesh Kumar from National Institute of Technology, Goa, told The Indian Express.
“With time, there is a high probability that the infection will be contained. However, in the long run, the countries should invest in improving health care facilities to reduce causalities during pandemics,” the study says.
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