Migrants in Delhi boarding buses to go back to their villages | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
Migrants in Delhi boarding buses to go back to their villages | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: A study predicting that as many as 12.5 to 24 crore people are likely to be infected by the novel coronavirus in India has landed in fresh controversy after Johns Hopkins University clarified that they were not associated with it.

The study titled ‘COVID-19 for India Updates’, which went viral on social media last week, carried logos of the US-based research organisation Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) and Johns Hopkins University. It has also been published on the CDDEP website.

However, Johns Hopkins University Friday disassociated itself from the research. After a Twitter user asked the American university about the study, it said, “The use of our logo was not authorized in this case and JHU is engaging with CDDEP on it. Thank you”.

In an email to ThePrint, the CDDEP clarified that the report was co-authored by faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, but added that it did not reflect the official position of the institutions involved.

“We would like to clarify that the new report is co-authored by faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHSPH). The report uses a strong scientific modelling based on available data and clear assumptions. An earlier version of the report did not have the correct logo of Princeton University and therefore needed to be corrected. The updated logo has now been placed on the report and the work was indeed done at Princeton. As with all research, the report does not reflect any official position of the institutions involved. This is as per the clarifications issued by both JHSPH and Princeton on the report,” it said.

The report had also been published by the news agency IANS, and was picked up by NDTV and Business Standard. The National Herald also carried a report based on the study on its website.

Business Standard and NDTV deleted their reports soon after the university’s tweet. NDTV even furnished the clarification: “Based on Johns Hopkins update, we have deleted the IANS story on this report”.


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What the study predicted

The study used an “agent-based model” known as IndiaSim to draw its predictions about the impact of the infection. The study had listed seven observations based on these predictions, the most prominent among them was the ineffectiveness of the national lockdown.

“A national lockdown is not productive and could cause serious economic damage, increase hunger and reduce the population resilience for handling the infection peak. Some states may see transmission increase only after another 2 weeks and lockdowns should be optimized for when they could maximize the effect on the epidemic but minimize economic damage,” the study noted.

CDDEP is incidentally founded by Ramanan Lakshminarayan who had earlier this month criticised the government’s initial testing approach. “If people don’t know that they have the disease they will be out in the community spreading the disease,” he was quoted as saying.

Three days later, in an interview with Karan Thapar, he had estimated that India is bound to have 10,000 more undetected cases.

In another interview with Barkha Dutt, Lakshminarayan had said, “If PM believed official data he wouldn’t have drawn a World War II analogy.”

(The article has been updated with the CDDEP’s clarification about the report.)


Also read: Meet the Pune woman behind the first Indian Covid-19 testing kits


 

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13 Comments Share Your Views

13 COMMENTS

  1. When the news is carried by NDTV and The Nat’l Herald, is it worth paying any attention to it for factual correctness? For fear purposeful mongering they should later be taken to task. Not now.

  2. May GOD give them wisdom that they are living in BHARAT ie. INDIA and they should not write or do anything to down grade it in the eyes of the world.

  3. By the time 24 cr Indians are infected with Corona, all living in EU and USA would have disappeared. How come this prof missed the dooms days scenarios of EU and USA?

  4. It has become popular in India to stamp foreign institutions name to give credibility.
    This is like Jaggi Vasudev staging an appearance at Harvard and pretending that his pseudoscientific views are Harvard approved.
    Fact is his name does not appear anywhere on their web site.
    We Indians believe anything with recognized names and don’t read the studies ourselves because we weren’t taught how to interpret them.
    Hardly anyone fact checks Whatsapp messages in India. We are a fake news country.

    Thank you Print.

    • All they know is fearmongering,spoiling the image of the country just to earn a few dollars.Media also callous in discussing this.
      Still wants stamp from Western media.
      Virus doesn’t know the difference between developed and developing nations..
      It’s a great equiliser

  5. We have to wake up and understand that there are only 3 things that Pakis know and can do well. 1. Train terrorists. 2. Beg for charity and handouts. 3. Spread fake news and disinformation, every paki is an expert at it, starting with PM Imran Khan, ISPR, politicians and public trolls!

  6. Some NRIs even though living far away from India can not shun their political agenda and will use their title and position to create a fake news to faint a horrible scenarios for India, especially for the current regime. These educated and resourceful people can help India but they will continue their rant against the current regime and paint the horrible picture of India to the West. Sadly, there are many of these.

  7. A vicious fake news information war is being waged on India. The likes of NDTV and the lefty liberal ecosystem is aiding and abetting it. If we the people do not fight it, India’s survival is at stake.

  8. The level of insanity of Modi haters is boundless like infinity. Nationalists won’t be surprised that some Modi haters indeed wish Corona virus kill a large number of Indians just to satisfy their inflated egos. NDTV, Business Standard and National Herald has shown another proof that how quickly they lap any rubbish publication showing India and Modi in bad light.

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