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By failing to scale up testing coronavirus, India may have lost crucial time

Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but if a mass explosion of coronavirus is upon us, it will be because of the Indian government’s refusal to test a large number of suspected patients.

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It hasn’t been perfect, but India has done a reasonably good job on most counts: airport screening, quarantining, public awareness, and even contact tracing in most places. Yet it is feared that the community transmission of coronavirus could be upon us, a mass explosion of cases that India is not well-equipped to handle.

Let us hope that does not happen. But if it does, the main cause will be want of testing facilities. And we don’t know why India has been so slow in scaling up testing facilities. Was it lack of resources, complacency, or an effort to artificially keep the number of positive COVID-19 cases low? Perhaps it was all of these.

The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) says it has found no positive case of coronavirus in 500 randomly collected samples of respiratory disease patients in ICUs. That sort of thing is hardly a justification to not test people with symptoms. A friend of mine who thinks he has coronavirus symptoms called a government helpline all day and after finally getting through, was told to reach Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. At the hospital, dozens of people, including him, were refused a test because they had no travel history or immediate known contact with anyone who had a travel history to severely affected countries.

But what if even one of these has coronavirus? She or he could be spreading it and not taking adequate precaution, thinking that s/he can’t have the virus since the government doesn’t even feel the need to find out.

Also read: One coronavirus patient infects 1.7 people in India, much lower than in China, Italy: Study

Why mass testing is key to containing

This is the sort of mistake that every country which is now witnessing a mass explosion of cases has made. The reason Turkey has had only two coronavirus-related deaths so far, despite sharing a border with Iran, is because it has been proactive with testing. The reason the United States is seeing an exponential rise in the number of cases is that it didn’t take testing seriously. (Curiously, India banned travellers from Turkey but not the US.)

Countries and regions that have so far been able to contain, mitigate or delay the spread of coronavirus have all done so by scaling up testing. These include South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. Of course, they were also ready with the infrastructure to deal with those who tested positive, such as quarantining them and protecting health workers and doctors.

Early and mass testing makes all the difference because, in many cases, coronavirus can be asymptomatic. Put simply, the virus may have entered your body but you do not show any symptoms at all. Unaware that you have coronavirus, you go around spreading it, making the vulnerable, such as frail and elderly people, very sick.

South Korea’s mass testing has proved that young people are getting coronavirus in large numbers but showing mild or no symptoms. By identifying and isolating such people, countries like South Korea have been able to contain the spread of the virus and keep their mortality rates low.

The importance of testing to isolate asymptomatic patients has now also been established through a mass experiment in Italy. The 3,300 residents of the small town of Vo were tested twice — all 3,300 of them. Those carrying the virus were isolated. By doing so, the spread was stopped. The number of new cases, as a result, is zero.

India is refusing to test those with symptoms. South Korea is testing even those with no symptoms.

Short of vaccination, mass testing is the best we can do, and we can do it through mass testing. It is like a race between humanity and a virus. Humanity is far behind, and we can play catch up only through testing. The silver bullet — vaccination — is more than a year away.

Also read: Yes, young people are falling seriously ill from Covid-19

No data, no problem 

So why is India not testing more people? Looks like it is not about capacity. According to the Associated Press, India has the capacity of testing 8,000 samples a day and yet it is testing only 90 a day — as of 18 March. This is most strange for a country that has already seen three deaths.

Such lethargy in testing may be taken as a sign that the Narendra Modi government does not expect coronavirus to reach the stage of community transmission. But it clearly does reach that stage. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), mostly busy with the implementation of draconian citizenship laws, went back on its promise of giving a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for every coronavirus-related death. This suggests that the government fears a mass outbreak. Why, then, is it so reluctant to prevent a mass outbreak by mass testing?

The Modi government has ordered a million test kits from Germany and the ICMR has been slowly expanding testing. These measures were taken this week. They should have been taken latest by February, when it became clear that the epidemic was spreading worldwide, or at most by March first week, when it became clear that coronavirus was not going to be limited to one or two cases in Kerala.

Sadly, the Modi government has lost crucial time. The effort to contain or mitigate coronavirus pandemic in India will not look like the efforts taken in South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Turkey.

In the United States, President Donald Trump has been heavily criticised for being behind the curve on testing. The US media has investigated the reasons for it. In India, the media is an arm of the Modi government and the opposition doesn’t exist.

Perhaps the Modi government thinks it can overcome coronavirus by fudging or hiding data, and what better way to do so by not testing people? After all, the Modi government hides farmer suicide data, consumer spending data, or simply stops using the word drought to pretend it doesn’t happen anymore.

If denial is the strategy, we are in for a rude shock very soon. Narendra Modi may want to wait for a few weeks before trying to look like a global leader at the forefront in the fight against coronavirus.

The author is contributing editor to ThePrint. Views are personal.

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  1. The article is full of fallacies. And most of them stem from this media’s bias to any step taken by the incumbent government.
    But anyways this bias is expected because all these the Print, ndtv, bhurkhadutt are all working with same agenda and the nation is aware of it.

  2. Are you andhbhakts totally out of your mind?
    The first reported case in india was in jan end and the socalled modi establishment was busy doing other things including preparing to welcome another sob from usa. Minister after minister toed the official stance “not to worry….everything is under control”. They did precious little to provide PPEs to hospitals. The bjp workers and supporters with the full endorsement of modi and tadipar shah started organising gav mutr party with cow dung on their faces not to mention selling gav mutr for a price. What all you andhbhakts are made of? Do you guyz have any self respect to let the illiterates like modi, shah, yogi to make you follow their diktats? With no knowledge of economy, healthcare and education the entire country is being held hostage by this rogue politicians of bjp. No….i m not advocating for congress either..but in the absence of any formidible opposition…the aap party gradually in alliance with other parties should uproot this menace of bjp from the face of this earth. In the last six years they have done nothing except divide people on religious lines. For them, mob lynching is a norm..and i do not expect anything better from people who advocate gav mutr for all ills. Today, india has become a laughing stock of the world because of the kind of leaders we have. Just compare the lowest calibre of modi and shah with other world leaders. Their lack of intellect is evident from every word they utter….they can only impress the uninitiated and are totally unfit for the company of intellectuals.
    You guyz should take note of the sorry expressions on modis face when in the company of the learned souls. Only godi media finds him charismatic when the fact is …he cant even hold his own in an extempore press conference.
    Coming to prepations on coronavirus… is not only inadequate but downright shameful not to have equipped the hospitals in time.
    I will tell you why the sudden lockdown of 21 days now. As is his wont….modi gives only 4 hours notice for everything. In these 21 days they will try to supply PPEs to the hospital so that it can be done as surreptitiously as possible. Wake up andhbakhts.. your goose is cooked….you are a hopeless case!

    • I fully agree 100% with your views I hope the bloody andbhakts will open their eyes before Modi sells their underwears ,!

  3. This is soo true . . . . . . And this has nothing to do with politics .
    India has never focused on its Medical Facilites and conditions .
    Either its UPA or BJP , nobody has ever thought or debated on this .
    Except Kerala .
    Hope is Good , but Hope with Irresponsibilty and Carelessness is like a Black hole . Slowly , but it will eat u up .
    Stay calm with 80% casuality .
    The article is eye-opening and please keep up the Good work 🙂 .

  4. I think you should close your shop, don’t you know what #WHO said a few days ago. We don’t care about you and your news, we are proud to our pm.

  5. The author is fairly biased against the Modi government, I understand his concern for the upcoming Tsunami of COVID in India but don’t understand the hatred behind this government.
    Pandemic is a very new thing for all of us, none has seen in their lifetimes. The government is trying to do their best, also if have the intention of hiding the numbers till when they can hide. This is not China, not a communist country.
    If you want to publish anything be sure with the statistics rather then starting a blame game.

  6. Guys, the author of the article is just making a single point that 90 tests per day in a country with 1.3 Billion population are very low. He is trying to draw a parallel between the countries that followed the same path and are now struggling to fight back. I don’t believe that the author had a political perspective while writing this article.

  7. I am not a regular reader of your site but i do agree with you on your views . Most of us has seen these type of cases where someone thinks that he or she may have corona but there is not so much facilities around the country to test it and where it has they don’t do because they don’t have a travel history . May the public realises the threat and be aware .

  8. I am not a regular reader of your site but i do agree with you on your views . Most of us has seen these type of cases where someone thinks that he or she may have corona but there is not so much facilities around the country to test it and where it has they don’t do because they don’t have a travel history . May the public realises the threat and be aware .

  9. The most idiotic article I read in recent times, have some sensitivity towards the matter and behave sensibly.

  10. You are a perfect example of negatively, at this time also stressing on “Modi” Govn. and creating panic situation.

    If you can’t be a responsible writer, then please stop writing.

  11. What’s your problem?? If our numbers will go high you people will criticize Modi Govt. why it’s so high? Govt. didn’t have taken proper steps..? Modi failed to handle the situation. Now when our numbers are low you still have a problem.. why it’s so low? You people will always have a problem with Modi Government.

  12. Plz shut up..u idiot….modi ji is doing alll one prime minister can do….n btw plz criticise that idiot too who roamed in whole city. But we know u wil not….plz for god’s sake…if u cant stand with nation …its leader or the efforts made by him…shut ur mouth.
    U people r amongst those who always pull legs .

    • If you think modiji is doing all that he can do, then you’re blind as a bat. Look around you, look at every country and the measures all their leaders are taking. You do not have a scientific mind to understand the depth of this outbreak right now and that’s because you are ignorant.

      • He is doing good with our limited resources .
        If community spread happens then no one can control this even most developed nations so it is vital to curfew in intial stage exactly what he is doing .i hooe curfew will extend to contain it.
        And remember we are developing nation not like europe ,italy,us with abundance of money and rss

  13. Dont compare things which are at odds to each other. Editorials are mostly introspective rather than speculative or decisive for that matter. If you are a research journalist then give facts and let your readers judge you. Now coming at your criticism, let me assure that India is doing its bit right in line with its known capability. Mass testings will make the things go out of hand as common people will make the lives difficult and resort to unnecessary hoarding of groceries and medical supplies and create panic leading to chaos and anarchy. It’s a big country of great diversity in thought, political affiliations and contradictory patriotic feelings. Your article can be truly classified as vague, unrealistic and pointing irrelevant things in its true context. Modi is PM and he does not differentiate when he fights Corona.

  14. the Day Modi will go out of BJP i dont know how Bjp, Print, Quint, jajeerA, bbc etc will sustain. Hope i will be wrong.

  15. i think this reason will be secondary we are saying this on hindsight possibilities of many factors like availability of testing kits in our country and other aspects but primary reason is irresponsibility of some literate fools.

  16. I think you are right that modi govt is slow and unaware and thats why people like you can excrete from mouth.
    This is the most crucial time for our country and if you can not support the country then you must shut up 😡

  17. It is important to optimize whatever steps have to be taken. There can be many views.
    The testing kits for Corona are limited.
    But important is that no country can do what China can do. Nobody can talk against them unlike here where we sit on Dharna and no body can kick us. This is INDIA. We are all at mercy of some stupid citizens who are least bothered about the consequences. Kanika Kapoor is one such example.
    Also nowadays the posts are colored by religion rather than sense. Let us all fight this Chinese dragon and kick it out.

  18. I believe we are lucky to have a leader who is concerned about us wherever we are irrespective of geographical location, age,religion etc and we try to blame for whatever he does. When the whole world is praising his initiatives, we leave no stone unturned to blame him. I feel very sorry about the mental situation of the writer of this article

  19. The author seems utterly biased with usage of ‘Modi government’ consistently! Such kind of fear inducing, biased articles should be removed. Mr.Author, this is not the time to create hate politics, its time to be united and show the truth!

  20. Shivam, truly you are a negative person with bad insight. You have radical thoughts for our country and Modiji. Please grow up and write logical reports and not this ….

  21. Good article!!!!
    But in last two paragraph you tried to target PM by mentioning his name…

    You can criticize the govt. but i think this is not the right time while congress leader Shashi Tharoor is praising the govt.

  22. U now karama….u write bad against someone..despite all d efforts he is putting for his country…then probably u will get bad ( God is watching u idiot) get ready for covid 19.

  23. I want to save this post for future so i will wtite this post in my diary.

    Can india do mass testing ????
    I support janta curfew……

  24. Thirdclass thinking of the writer. never ever read anything from the print. they are the stupidest i ever seen.

  25. This is a pathetic article by the Congress to bring bad image to the effort done by Modi Government. People have to listen and not be idiots to do their own thing. When you are quarantined after tested positive or assumed to be positive, shut yourself down for 2 weeks. don’t be an hero to show off your youth roaming around and infecting all other people.

  26. The facts that he mentioned Modi serveral times in negative light and also mentioned CAA as draconian prooves that the author has an axe to grind and expresses, his hate to Modi. Nothing else, othersiwse how do we explain how this is connected to CAA and how CAA is draconian. This few bits if information shows the actual state of the authors mind, and therefore the whole article can be safely discarded as rubbish and article by a demented guy who wants to express something.

  27. Good article. But the writer lost my trust when he intentionally mentioned ‘modi government’ at least 20 times in the article. It’s obvious that the writer wamts to defame the government than actually cover the news.

  28. what kind of stupid author is this, he is saying 90 test per day, from all 62 testing sites, if at all we get out of this mess, first thing to be done is to sort out this foreign funded, money hungry, shameless prestitutes…

    • ICMR themselves have clarified that they are doing only 70-80 tests daily across India. Author didn’t make it up. India has capacity of 8000 tests per day but has conducted only 13000 total tests so far.

  29. PAI PEINT MEDIA.The AUTHOR is BAISED and ILLITERATE PERSON going into politics of CRR ,
    Does he know meaning of DRACONIAN LAW …
    health is a state subject
    I know many people in HM and Health ministry , and their preparedness to tackle this Corona virus ..

  30. Modi gov emphasise for establishing medical college in every district.But people favour who gives everything free like water, electricity and buses.We also favour Intruder of other countries and against population control.

  31. Another rubbish article by Shivam. Anyways lets not give much attention to him or Print and both are communist driven and nothing productive can ever be expected from such ideology. Shivam please do better research before writing something and without any bias or putting ur ideology into the matter.

    • Basic public health rule is to prevent importation of virus from outside countries you quarantine whoever is coming from those countries irrespective of test status. Clearly there is negligence.

  32. Arre, abhi corona aaya na toh sab Modi ki galti. Dekho, jab US aur China lad rahe the toh Modiji ne hi Wuhan mein virus dalwaya tha. Healthcare jaisi state subject par bhi hume bilkul Modiji ko hi blame karna chahiye. CAA ka bhi frustration issi article mein nikalna tha.

  33. Covid -19 se dar Q iske pahele bhi mahamari ayaa hai tab bhi Use kaboo kia gaya tha… Aapke man agar dar toh ladne se pahele haar jaoge… positive

  34. Boss few things:

    1. Biased article , are you a modi hater or Pappu supporter.
    2. You dont understand or dont want to undestand the reasoning behiend such approach. There is no point explaining this to you due to point 1.
    3. Keep your virus in your body and mind don’t spread it in society through such articles.
    4. Get your data and stats right.
    5. When everyone is showing solidarity and first time people are getting united – you people are working against society and the nation.
    6. Who pays you to write all this shitty things.

  35. You are a blockhead Vij and this article is ridiculous. The print should take it down and forbid this fool from spreading his sickness.

  36. It is not 90 a day. It is 90 per lab each day. In effect we are testing higher numbers than quoted here. Plz do not copy from al jazeera and india today.

  37. Everybody is busy hyperventilating about his criticism of the government while totally missing the point. People in this country have their priorities twisted.

  38. So true,
    Avalanche is near and we are without any weapon to combat. So what! we will fight 💪 with our positivity, beating thali, clapping and so on. Still we don’t have any plans to lock down. See the scenario in public places like banks. I can just say wish us all d best WITH ALL D POSITIVITY.

  39. Thanks for adding Citizenship amendment Act into your covid 19 related topic. What else can we expect from you.

  40. Do you know Health comes under state or central govt ?
    May be you didn’t. Health is state subject.. Central govt can provide assistance but its jobs of state govt to use it successfully.
    It does not matter whose govt is in state.

  41. Most of the Indians never paid any tax!!! Plenty of black money

    Still keeping the streets dirty and asking the government to build hospitals and clinics.

    Jago Jago! pay proper taxes and get good services.

  42. Too much emphasis is given on tests. To prevent entry and propagation of virus restrictions on flights and quarantine of all who came from affected countries for 14 days should have been done when cases were nil or few. People may call the authorities paranoid but that should not have mattered.

    • The author has also writtern an article titled “The Delhi progrom 2020 is Amit Shah’s answer to an election defeat”. These guys care about only one thing that is “mudi bad” and don’t care about giving facts to people.

  43. When the views of the author are personal ,they ought to be vindictive and biased. The Print, always prints against BJP government. Sold media as usual. Nobody believes this kind of shit anymore. There is limit to politicising things. Have some morality dumb morons.

  44. Well
    Never expected the print or Viz to spread virus
    He quotes turkey as an example
    There r 193 cases n two deaths
    Compare populations

    Thereafter he compares two great countries for a robust system

    Italy n South Korea
    Can we get more stupid than that

  45. Hello idiot modi hater who has written this article just to demonize the modi government, how much are you paid by the ailing Congress, lol, what a shame, journalists like you should not exist, please inject yourself with Corona, you idiot, you seem to be preparing for the 2024 elections, idiot writer, thousands are dying and still you are busy criticizing modi just because you are a liberal. Liberals support cow eating, pig eating etc and it’s because of you liberals that diseases like these even come into existence, the plague(black death) was a result of liberals eating every animal possible, it spread to a vegetarian nation (oops only vegetarian nation of that time when Islam didn’t invade us) India and innocent vegans died here, you idiot liberal journalist, quit your job, you Rahul Gandhi’s bootlicker.

    • Okay so eating cow meat will get you infected but not there piss 🤣🤣🤣 lol here trying to convey muslims doesn’t eat every possible animal just like hindu doesnt drink piss of every animals its upon pure belief and therefore respect every relegion! Filhaal fight humanity ki he this is gods nrc and caa! Months ago the threat was how we will proove our nationalities but here we are bringing every indian citizen and trying to fight covid-19 together.. # staysafe

      • Does my comment encourage you to drink cow urine?, And drinking cow urine immediately after a cow urinates will never give you infection, in fact drinking your own piss won’t give you any infection since it’s just filtered water, urine doesn’t contain infection, it gets infected after coming in contact with the dirt and other bacterias, however eating meat and drinking cow urine are two totally different things, I respect Hinduism only, thanks. Had there been no Islam or Christianity then we would never ever have seen an epidemic like this and the plague i.e., black death.

  46. Also, there is no sanitation in Government Hospitals, cleaning staff doesn’t work & people are sharing the quality of the wards. But “Our” Toxic Population is saying that if that place is not clean, you should clean it & not complain. Seriously? Rather than reporting the cleaning staff, they’re blaming those who’ve been quarantined, that they should clean the place & 1 thing I’m not blaming the Govt. here rather the hospital staff. Building more hospitals is an important task on which the Govt. should focus on right now, but to keep the Hospitals clean & sanitized should not be put on the 2nd priority as sanitation must be the part of living.

  47. Govt guidelines clearly state that you must quarantine yourself for 8-10days if you have flu like symptoms and wear a mask to protect others.
    True that you covid-19 testing is only for persons who were abroad or in contact with someone abroad. I think this makes sense from view of using testing capacity efficiently because at any time a large number of people will likely have cough and cold and hence testing every suspect cold/ fever is just not feasible.

  48. I am not a bjp fan nor congress but he is saying truth, the goverment workers not doing duty with dedication they money earner nothing more, i called corona helpline then they said dont worry nothing will happen go for near clinic and checkup you may have viral fever.

  49. Please understand the gravity of the situation Mr. AUTHOR…don’t try to do politics in these situations…. Foolish article

  50. Plus why do you always try to divide people? What’s this connection of corona to caa? You are nothing less than the advocate of nirbhaya’s rapists who connected rape case to corona outbreak. Criticise the people who are not matured enough to wash their hands even in the most “civilised” (As they like to call themselves to be recognized apart from rest of the country specially u.p and bihar) states.

    Give hope.
    Don’t divide.
    Be safe.
    Your ideology is unworthy if you only wish to criticize every effort . You might be hoping people to die so that you can criticize.
    Have some principles not ideology then.

  51. Why do you people always criticize?? In this time of negativity and distress all around can’t you spread some positive news about revival of hope??

    You are no different than aaj tak abp news etc. You are also making people depressed like them intead of encouraging people to fight and show hope so that we as a community could help each other you are putting people to hopelessness in this time when we need it the most.
    You are good for nothing people. Your ideology can’t help people what kind of ideology is that then? Your ideology is shit if you don’t know how to connect and give hope to thw community in which you live.

    Thanks for adding to my negativity .
    Little brother of aaj tak .

    • seriously? So you’ll chose “unawareness” towards “what-if”. The data which you’ve seen is of those respiratory problem patients, not those continuously traveling working-people (I’m one of them) & I’m not criticizing the Govt. If you see a problem it is your call to solve it or pass it & you’re doing the latter one. Panic or seriously taking the precautions & preparing for the problem, what would you chose?

  52. Get your facts right Mr. Shivam Vij.

    Here in Singapore before the community spread, doctors were instructed not to test for people with symptoms given the fact due to limited quantity of testing kit and it’s high cost. Infact, one of the doctor had refused a patient to get tested citing – there was no community spread had happened so far and was asked to come back a week later if the symptoms persisted. This is the case of a developed country.
    Wide community spread happened in the countries like SK, SG due to mass gatherings and while attending churches inspite of the govt requested to remain at home n maintain social distancing.

    Kindly help to bring in awareness about Social distancing among our Indians instead of blaming Govt on and on by writing such derogatory article.

    Your help to the country should be in a way to make the situation better and positive instead of spreading negativity and bringing down the spirit of citizens!

  53. I completely agree with author. Italy’s medical system is way better than India and look at the explosion. Let’s hope we all are wrong but looking at china and italy, my brain is saying a big wave of avalanche is not away.

  54. Shivam Vij may not like Modi or his govt fine. But give credit to where it is due. There are tireless service providers like doctors, nurses, airline staff, airport handlers, taxi drivers and many other service providers and they are all doing their job, pretty well, even though we may have some constraints. Recently there were quarrel in Delhi airport when a group of immigrants were shouting at the airport staff for delay in cleaning them. In spite of all the minor hiccups and deficiencies as they may exist, India has been successful, so far, in isolating the people, mostly on arrival (even though few irresponsible people jumped quarantine, risking themselves and few positive cases in spite of knowing they were affected went and attended Satsang and all) and their effective quarantine helped India to keep the spread minimum. We can call this as localized than becoming epidemic or pandemic. Coming weeks will let us know about how the curve moves. But still, with the facilities what India has, the numbers reported so far is far less in proportion to population, which is remarkable. This appreciated by many world over, including the Chinese news article recently. People like Shivam Vij knows how to make noise, as negative news only attracts people. If The Print is scoring a point through this article, well it deserves condemnation. Is he different than Rahul’s recent uttering?

  55. It seems author is a modi critic. waiting desperately to blame him. You must know the capacity of testing the country is having. Stupid person/

  56. Indian government is the worst govt compared to all other nations. There are no proper testing facilities in all over India. Till now only 6000 suspected cases were tested for coronavirus in india out of which 200 members were coronavirus positive . The total Indian population was 140 crores. Indian people don’t know whether they are in stage 2 or 3. A very horrible situation in India.

  57. after reading the comment thread , i feel like Mr. Vij will be 1st case of cordial attack due to over information about corona .

  58. Our family girl had returned from Singapore last month and her toddler got symptoms after 10 days,when contacted local government hospital they sent them back with three days medicine..though child is stable now but family was really confused about what is being spread and what exactly is there…residing in a village they travelled so far to hospital …

  59. It is high time that a ‘purge’ of ‘liberals’ is carried out in the Indonesian style. They number at most 10 lakhs in India, and therefore carrying out that purge is not infeasible form the perspective of logistics.

  60. It amaze me how Vij is not Critical to Non BJP Govt
    Where from mass cases are reporting Kerala and Maharashtra

    Trying to Include CAA in Corona Article

    Trying to point out ban on turkey not US

    People like Vij

    just wishing million of people in India should die so they can brutally criticize Modi Govt

  61. Whatever Mr Vij’s bias, it should not stop us from debating what needs to be done. Testing everybody is out of the question. So only 2 realistic options remain
    1. Test all symptomatic individuals, irrespective of travel or exposure history ( presently we are testing only individuals with travel or contact history). Aggressively quarantine all positive cases and contacts.
    2. Complete lockdown – Wuhan style – for next 4 weeks with attendant risks of social and economic disruption.
    Sitting at home on one Sunday and clapping hands is no solution at all.

  62. I suppose we have recorded 4 deaths till now. Majority of those were people who got infected abroad. Please not it was not due to local transmission, If you are an expert than how could ignore this fact?

  63. if i say to Author bad word , all people think i am modi bhakt. But Mr. Shivam you really dont have sense of humor. Please come out from your imagination and think about real world. everyone know we are developing country not developed country . So dont compare India . Indian goverment take necessary action to stop Corona very actively.
    You think your are smart but the reality is, many people which now working for stopping corona have too good knowledge and sense of humor with respect to you.

  64. Purely political article. Nothing informatry. Also, India’s approach is what is required for a country with a huge population, testing everyone is not possible. Testing suspected people and advising everyone else to stay at home is the most sensible thing to do. Everyone crowding at testing centers is only going to spread it further.

  65. Honestly, have some shame The Print. By publishing this article, you are not being much different from the Western media whose main aim is to malign India’s image because they cannot watch it become a superpower.
    Having an opposing view of an ideology or political party is different from altogether shaming your own country of birth.
    Mass testing will not only create panic but will also result in a shortage of kits if ever a community outbreak happens.

  66. This is a sensible article, and the writer should ignore the backlash, just like those ignoring and turning a blind eye to the million shortcomings of our government.

    • Well said. I am appalled by the ignorance in understanding the crux of the whole article. It is a dangerous phase but whom to make aware of! Sad state…

  67. India has taken the right stand. The report has no justification. Considering the panic already created by media, everyone would start asking for a test and how do you set the priority? don’t try to be critical of India on every occasion, you loose your credibility.

  68. If we start testing everyone then one million kits would be sufficient for only for one day in just one Mumbai local train passengers

  69. Mass testing of people with respiratory symptoms may not be required. But active surveillance and testing of people who are suspected to have come in contact with a positive or someone coming from outside countries is a must to prevent mass transmission. There is bound to be a chaos once mass transmission starts.

    • Of course apart from testing vigorous quarantining of contacts and isolation of positives can arrest the epidemic.

  70. This guy really needs some knowledge of medical facts and how things in medicine word works before writing such article and showing his idiocy. Anyways even in this difficult times one can’t even expect some sense from The Print which is a communist driven platform.

  71. Shivam Vij. So pathetic article with lame reference like one of my friend. Shame on you. India is a vast country, and with such blatant article, it might result in widespread Panic. Is this what you want?

  72. Shame on you Vij. Read the comments here. No one has an appreciation for yoyr expert views. Not all of them must be Modi bhakts. So you can gauge the value given to your expert views by the readers ! Kearn to give credit where it us dye, if you want to last in this profession and taken seriously !

  73. Currently I’m living in Daegu city in South Korea which is the epicenter of Korean virus cases. What author mentions is wrong they’re not testing every one without symptoms, it’s completely wrong. They are only testing when you have symptoms or if they suspect you may have contact with people with travel history and if you want to test without symptoms you have to pay 160,000 KRW which is 9000INR approx. if you test positive then you no need to pay.

    • Thanks for sharing this. This news must be shared with everyone particularly the NDTV types who are shouting and howling about ICMR not yet allowing private clinics to get into testing business. They are angling for government to pay for testing for any one and everyone by quoting South Korea example and that WHO guy who said test test and test. South Korea has done a sensible thing- you can pay for your testing and if proved positive, the government reimburses.

  74. Such a insensitive and politicized article during such a situation shows how biased this article writer is. Such write ups should not be allowed to publish at this time of chaos. Purely political article worth nothing informatory

  75. Sir, I can assure you that if we start testing as widely as you suggest in a country as populated as India we will run out of 1 million kits in no time and will be found wanting when we need to test people who really need it. Random testing as is happening in India is a smart way of recognizing communities at high risk for spread without exhausting resources. Working as a health care provider in US I can assure you India is ahead of US in managing this Pandemic currently. Give kudos where needed.

    • yaa truly.. criticising one nation is not always right then may it be the worlds second largest populated country i n the world…. govt of india should be appreciated for management of pandemic and awarting situations as of california italy

  76. Seriously is a journalist or want to spew venom on some one….can u compare a country of billons with country of millions?? Give this guy a medal and his followers

  77. Now Dr. Shivam Vij will enlighten us on how we should take care of Covid 19! ICMR is taking care of its responsibilities and Modi government has acted very responsibly and proactively on this issue. State governments are contributing in their own ways. There is no need for Dr. Shivam Vij to bother the country on this issue. He should rather bother about “serious” implications of Modi’s political stock skyrocketing after SAARC video conference, Modi’s appeal to the nation today and idea of ‘Janata Curfew’ and proposed video conference with G 20 leaders.

  78. Fully agree. What prevents all non-BJP governments from doing mass tests. Central govt has not banned mass testing by state governments and as BJP haters gleefully point out most of states are ruled by non-bjp. So even when state govt is wrong Vij blames BJP showing his bias

  79. Under the able guidance of the MOTHER and son n daughter Shivam would have controlled Corona on EARTH.

  80. Total biased artivle, as always by a pompous & self professed expert on every subject under the sun. It seems people like him are just praying for the virus to affect our masses so they can blame Modi & the government

  81. There’s a rule emerging on LinkedIn and Facebook – if what you’re reading isn’t from an epidemiologist or based on epidemiologists working on the ground or from a local leader coordinating the response – it is noise.

  82. This guy is silly. Lets first accept the fact that India has only 0.9 beds per 1000 population ..For comparison, Italy has 7 beds per 1000 population. Now assume that India by some magic is able to test not 10,000 per day as South Korea but maybe 100,000 per day….First India cannot charge its patients (too many poor people who cannot pay), assume that 10% test positive, this is not confirmation yet..You will need to do CT Scan and monitor everyday. Can India afford…I think WHO is talking nonsense and not practically..even China could not conduct tests for all, simply because of large size of population. I am not trying to justify the govt, instead I am talking reality…In a virtual world, maybe India can test…But thats not going to happen, because after test, what will you do…Can you give beds to those tested positive? Who should you admin, and whom should you not….It doesnt seem Indian medical system can scale up…It will only cause panic with no real benefit, in the sense that I dont think lives will be saved..instead more lives will be lost.

    • I clearly agree to Vij as it makes perfect sense in its own. There are some people who don’t show symptoms but can still spread the illness. . .. to the vulnerable sections of the society. The only way to stop this spread is through mass testing. Only then we will be able to isolate them. Even though mass testing can not be done. But suspected cases should be tested. ICMR has done 1000 random samples checking but can not be satisfied with it in the country of billion people. .everyone has their own views

    • I clearly agree to Vij as it makes perfect sense in its own. There are some people who don’t show symptoms but can still spread the illness. . .. to the vulnerable sections of the society. The only way to stop this spread is through mass testing. Only then we will be able to isolate them. Even though mass testing can not be done. But suspected cases should be tested. ICMR has done 1000 random samples checking but we can not be satisfied with it in the country of billion people. .everyone has their own views

  83. What is the credibility of his highness Shivam Vij other than being a liberal and Modi hater? Oh sorry, that is enough credibility 🙂

  84. Mr. Vij’s biases show up within the first few sentences. The Print tries very hard to hide its leftist / liberal leanings and sound neutral but such articles give it away.

    • This idiot Vij is a mediocre writer. Lucky he can still earn his living writing trash, as media always needs content. He thinks people are fools to believe that everything is perfect in developed countries, and indeed in China.

    • Fully agree. What prevents all non-BJP governments from doing mass tests. Central govt has not banned mass testing by state governments and as BJP haters gleefully point out most of states are ruled by non-bjp. So even when state govt is wrong Vij blames BJP showing his bias

  85. Cursing the indians for not falling I’ll? WHO can do a better work by disclosing the origin of virus as it is more concerned in naming than taming the virus.

  86. So this author has come to show his “healthcare and policy expertise” from his “political expertise”. How one man can bullshit so much. Please discontinue this gentleman from writing for The print

  87. Very few journalists are as prejudiced as Shivam Vij,before 1919 election results he was waxing eloquent NDTV how NDA will lose,he is one of those of people who have been supporting Shaheen bagh type protests which could be epicenters of infection, but our self appointed Virologist ignores this and finger points at the govt all the time.

  88. The author is making moot points. India is not south korea or Taiwan in terms of size of population. We should understand that every respiratory disease is not corona virus and everyone without corona disease doesn’t exhibit illness. If you start testing everyone you will run out of kits within minutes. Even developed countries don’t have enough reagents. Universal testing is still not being performed in countries like Australia . However, testing everyone is important when there is evidence of community transmission. And as mentioned before not everyone exposed to Covid will develop severe illness thus we are only concerned about the ones with severe illness, hence testing severely ill patients such as ones in ICU makes absolute sense.

    • Shivam vij makes perfect sense. If in initial stage tests are intensive you can prevent mass transmission. People with mild illness will spread the infection to vulnerable group , moreover they will cause community transmission of the infection.

      • Yeah U r right madam. I see it a intention with more accuracy to save our people. Not to quarrel or support government etc. It’s a true duty of any government to save it’s people without any delay. Hoping lot.

      • I am a healthcare provider myself. And, I personally think that what the government is doing is apt. For a second, just for a second, stop seeing Modi as the tyrant you hate and analyze. This writer is no expert in healthcare fueld and how all this works. So, better shut up. Also, all the countries out there have checked only the people who show or showed symptoms and the ones who came in contact with the infected individual. And, the rest, are asked to take precautions and isolate themselves from the world for a while, physically. This is how things work. Speaking on social media won’t help. First line responders and their heads know it better. So, stop creating hype and panic. Because, as is said in our profession, psyche plays more important role in healing.

    • Let’s hope Corona virus is handled better than the economy. Because if not, the economic catastrophe that will follow is going to cripple us!!

  89. Saw Modi addressing Saarc. Besides being on TV which he loves, not sure how it solved India’s problems.

  90. This is the kind of write ups you get when ignorant journalists pretend to know it all. No wonder journalists are no longer taken seriously.

  91. I just don’t know why this guy is allowed his propaganda here on ThePrint? He can go the Huffington Post and do daydreaming there…

  92. Modi and his nincompoops r going to take India to doldrums by their careless behavior. Worst is yet to come.

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