As shadows of doubts grow over the number of Covid infections and deaths, the New York Times did some insider calculations. There is no guarantee that NYT’s figures are bang on just because it comes from the West. But many experts in India too agree that there is gross undercounting of Covid cases and deaths. Nobody knows the exact figures, even the Central Govt as states deliberately keep the counts down.
But, this is what the NYT said today:
Last week, India recorded the largest daily coronavirus death toll for any country during the pandemic — a figure that most likely is still an undercount. The Times consulted more than a dozen experts to arrive at several possible estimates for the true scale of devastation from Covid-19 in the country.
The caseload: As of Tuesday, India had reported nearly 27 million Covid cases and 307,231 deaths.
What the data shows: Our best-case scenario assumes a true infection count 15 times the official number of recorded cases, and a death toll roughly double the official count, at 600,000 deaths. Our worst-case scenario, taking into account the shortage in oxygen and hospital beds, puts the estimated infections at 700 million, and deaths at 4.2 million.
The view from inside: Fear, grief and boredom pervade the lives of those caught in India’s outbreak. We asked our readers in India to describe their lives: “We’re all terrified and burnt out,” one wrote.
Modi on the offensive: Indian police visited Twitter’s office in New Delhi as part of a crackdown on criticism of the government’s handling of the pandemic.