650 million likely to be infected by Dec if Lockdown relaxed: NIMHANS Professor

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) is a multidisciplinary institute for patient care and academic pursuit in the field of mental health and neurosciences.

Dr. V. Ravi: Senior Professor and Head Neurovirology, Public health virology, Japanese encephalitis, Acute encephalitis syndrome, Development of indigenous kits, antiretroviral therapy, immunology and pathogenesis of viral infections of CNS, psychoneuroimmunology. Dr Ravi, fought to prevent serious viral-infection diseases such as encephalitis and H1NI in the past. Dr Ravi is the nodal officer of Karnataka Health Task Force on COVID-19

Summary of Comments by Dr Ravi

If lockdown restrictions are reduced after May 31st

  • By December, 650 million + will be affected
  • 90% of the cases will be asymptomatic
  • Some 65 million will have to be hospitalised
  • 5% will need ventilator Support
  • Current Death rate is around 3.5%
  • More should be done to protect the elderly (older than 60), people with co-morbidities and other vulnerable sections of the population
  • States should end institutional quarantine
  • Only 60+ will need vaccine

Our Comment: To hit Dr. Ravi’s forecast, India’s cases will have to increase at the rate of 37.5% every week or 4.6% everyday. Last one week, the growth was 39%, down from 45% last week. It is likely to fall even more in the coming week. The doctor’s main condition was IF Lockdown Conditions are removed. Given these forecasts, it is likely that India will not remove full lockdown for a long time and instead focus on reducing weekly growth rates to much lower levels than 37.5% per week

  • At 30% growth per week, total cases by year end will be 155 million
  • At 25% growth per week, total cases by year end will be 56 million
  • At 20% growth per week, total cases by year end will be 19.5 million
  • At 15% growth per week, total cases by year end will be 6.4 million

So one thing is clear, it will be sometime before full lockdown will be relaxed in some cities. Also, there could be intermittent lockdowns in some cities to ensure spread is low. This is the most likely future

Sources: Zee News, Livemint, EconomicTimes, Dr Ravi’s picture source – Hybiz TV