India could be next virus hotspot for coronavirus
Experts warn containment measures that proved successful elsewhere in Asia may not work in the world’s second-most populous country India and it could become the next global hotspot for virus cases.
Dr. T. Jacob John, Former head, Centre for Advanced Research in Virology, Indian Council for Medical Research stated “The number will be 10 times higher by April 15. They are not understanding that this is an avalanche. As every week passes, the avalanche is growing bigger and bigger.
India has so far reported 125 infections and three deaths is trying to contain the virus by closing its borders, testing incoming travelers and contact tracing from those who tested positive.
But some experts in the nation of 1.3 billion people say that won’t be enough to contain the spread. Other measures like widespread testing and social distancing may be infeasible in cities with a high population density and unsteady health infrastructure.
Maharashtra the worst-hit state has reported the biggest spread of the infection with 39 cases. Its government has called for a virtual lockdown of cities in the state on March 16 – shuttering all public places and putting off university exams and asking government offices and private companies to allow employees to make sure at least half their staff work from home at any given time.
Rajesh Tope, Maharashtra’s health minister said “Social distancing is something often talked about but only works well for the urban middle class. It doesn’t work well for the urban poor or the rural population where it’s extremely difficult.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said India’s doing its best to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus.