Saturday, March 25, 2023
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Anti-Modi lobby quotes voodoo COVID-19 math of US economist, forgets to verify the numbers

A US-based economist claimed that at least 200 million Indians will be infected, but no one knows his assumptions, based on which he arrived at this figure.

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India’s end is near, if one believes the “mathematical model” of economist Ramanan Laxminarayan. He recently claimed before several news channels that 200 million Indians, which he raised to half-a-billion in the next couple of days will be infected by COVID-19, tens of millions will be in severe condition and few million will die over a period of time. The anti-Modi lobby was elated by these predictions. First time after the 2019 Lok Sabha election, they got something to smile about. They think if Laxminarayan’s predictions come true, it would certainly lead to the end of Modi era.

Even if we ignore the dubious past of Laxminarayan, which I have tweeted about in detail, there are several relevant questions that no one asked him. Any such model is built on certain assumptions. No one, except him, knows what those assumptions are. But I am certain about the presence of one underlying assumption in his hypothesis: the Narendra Modi government, the state governments, and local bodies will do nothing to prevent the spread of the disease, will not take care of infected people and let them die.

Due to several assumptions, any such model creates several scenarios. If any one of assumption falls apart, based on its weightage (how important it is in any scenario), the prediction can vary significantly. That creates various scenarios. In this case, no one knows if the numbers the economist is throwing are the best-case scenario or the worst case, or somewhere in between. Another important question no one bothered to ask him.

Also read: At current rate, India can see 30,000 COVID-19 deaths by May, no hospital bed by June: Data

Laxminarayan’s voodoo mathematical model

Why is no one asking him about his involvement in an intellectual property breach? The reasons: his claims are sensational, make good headlines and bring high TRP ratings; he is speaking from the US in an American accent; and most importantly what he says brings Modi government into bad light. The poor WHO expert who has praised the Modi government can’t be correct, the anti-Modi lobby presumed.

Those who expressed blind faith in Laxminarayan’s voodoo mathematical model without questioning it, are now hounding spiritual gurus for their advice to pray, reduce stress by yoga and meditation, and indulging in breathing exercises like Pranayama to keep their lungs healthy and free of toxins.

I am not arguing here to believe that a single dose of gaumutra will cure those infected with coronavirus or any infection for that matter. But between paranoia based on certain mathematical model and false claim that Indians are somehow immune to such infections, there is a band of actions/activities and some of them are based on solid scientific evidence, such as washing hands or social distancing. Some on not so conclusive data but having good indicators and clinical insights such as ICMR’s recommendation that hydroxychloroquine drug can be used for prophylaxis. Or Our traditional knowledge system that shows that turmeric, garlic, etc boost immune system, and ashwagandha helps in prevention of lung fibrosis in animals.

Will they be beneficial in COVID-19? I have no answer to this question. I will never argue that the government should substitute evidence-based treatment regimen with something that remains unproven. But at the same time, they should not be discarded just because they are referred to in our traditional knowledge system.

Also read: UK vaccine trials to a supercomputer taking on virus — top 5 developments on COVID-19 front

Role of traditional medicine

China is generating massive data on effect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on COVID-19 infection. A recently published research paper claims that more than 60,000 patients were treated with TCM. Among improvement of other clinical endpoints, the paper claims that the use of TCM increased clinical cure rate by 33 per cent.

In India, we need to deploy our traditional knowledge as a complementary to the modern medicine, test it with the same rigour as any other hypothesis, ensure that it does not aggravate the existing condition, and not make unsubstantiated claims. At the same time, we should stop ridiculing traditional knowledge system, only on the ground that it did not originate in the West.

In the meantime, voodoo mathematical modeling too will continue in media along with unsubstantiated claims of cure and that’s an unfortunate reality.

Vijay Chauthaiwale is in-charge, foreign affairs department, Bharatiya Janata party. Views are personal.

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  1. The difference between qualified Dr. Ramanan and this andhbhakt foreign affairs Incharge is intent. Former is talking maths with disease dynamics whereas this author is only busy maligning him and revamping the image of Govt. Even if he is crook ( which I doubt ) his points can’t be rubbished.

    If that be the case why did india opt for lockdown? You should have been complacent enuf on status quo. Btw lockdown is actually the zero effort that Govt can our to combat this. All economic loss is going to be passed to the mob.

    I m Glad Ramanan got these people alerted with just 2 interviews and strongly wish the scenario of lockdown works in India’s favour. We owe to ramanan.

    • Adding one more thing.. I am myself in depression since I watched ramanan interview but I owe to him for alerting Modi Govt …. guys now u have bought time .. don’t rest better test then trace and treat

      Wish I get ramanan contact to personally call him

  2. The line about anti Modi people being happy about Indians afflicted or dying of Corona Virus just shows the perverted AndhBhakth mindset of this BJP sycophant!? Their hate is projected on others, who may not be BJP sympathysers for good reasons. Just rubbishing ideas that do not fall in line with their worldview, and ignoring the need to rebut on facts… This is their style!

  3. No surprise to read this since it profusely flows from the same perennial source of stupidity , hubris and hatred, aka BJP. It is not anti-Modi sentiments but the = harsh reality, supported by ground level facts. The mathematical models of the outcome of current epidemic have been produced by multiple sources and all of them spell a great doom with terrifying numbers of death, more or less consistently. But people are hardly tested for COVID-19 and Indian has one of the worst test figures in the world. And this is an artificial way of keeping the numbers low. If the tests are done in the scale of south Korea ,then the real numbers of infected cases will of the order of thousands if not ten thousands. Considering the crowded conditions of the living spaces and our poorly equipped health sector, these gargantuan numbers of death are not a surprise at all. Only hope is to pray that God will avert the danger that India is facing from COVID-19 and a corrupt government, the most dangerous combination.

  4. Fear mongering is BJPs technique not the opposition’s. This man has not read the complete article, nor the bhaqts, thus it’s not a surprise that he is again spreading a propaganda. Above all cow dung is a cure for everything.

  5. Please start testing and we all will know whether the expert’s views are correct are not. This has nothing to do with being pro or anti Modi.

  6. Scary but I do not think the figures of doom look rational even with the limitations of our public health system.The problem why such doomsday predictions are coming is the way Modi has alienated a very big section of Indian well meaning ppl not just the entire monitors
    of around 20crs.India has been scarred very badly.Fingers crossed.

    • Any body who hates Modi can’t be part of well meaning people. Modi haters are either corrupt and crook or the highest order of stupid. Modi is PM not because of these paralyzed minds but because majority of alert voters want Modi to lead India. If you are having stomach pain, you must take JAMALGHOTA.

  7. Just saying the maths is voodoo doesn’t Prove the point. The author should have proved how its voodoo instead of peddling his love for traditional practices which has no scientific bases. Instead of pointing out someone’s accent and questioning his loyalty, the author should have countered on points and ask real question. But then authors allegiance and the parties culture of not asking and not be asked critical question renders him an apologetic stooge. Article has no substance just like voodoo

  8. Pathetic article starting with “The anti-Modi lobby was elated by these predictions”. People are worried about their health and irrespective of what lobby they belong. Don’t corrupt people’s mind with your brainwashed thoughts

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