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Indians must have no confusion about how we reached impressive Covid herd immunity

India’s masses didn’t have the luxury to ‘work from home’ and follow social distancing, but they might have silently built India’s herd immunity.

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Covid-19 vaccines seem to have come in at just the right time to provide Indians with an opportunity to forget, forgive and move on.

As the world enters a new vaccine phase of the pandemic, we must not forget there are scientific reasons for treating Covid-19 antibody tests at par with vaccination. There is no evidence yet that nature-induced antibodies are any worse, or those produced by the vaccines any better or longer-lasting. This is why we also need to dispel widespread confusion over whether the sweet spot that India finds itself in today, with impressive levels of natural immunity, is a result of controlling the pandemic through measures such as lockdowns and social distancing, or the virus washing through the population rampantly. It must be also understood that the herd immunity India seems to be approaching fast is due to natural immunity response in a large number of infected persons and not something that is naturally in-built in our blood.

It is imperative that we are not blinded by the confusion and take full advantage of the data that we now have. It is important that we demand transparency about the rather wide spread of the pandemic, which is good news now given the falling daily death rate, because it means we are fast approaching herd immunity. Availability of vaccines is good news and will only hasten this process.

Also read: Why India will not see a big second wave of Covid-19

It is understandable why the health ministry is hesitant to talk about the scale of Covid-19 spread, although many of its own experts seem to agree that majority Indians have probably been infected with coronavirus and developed immunity response as a result.

This could be easily established through extensive sero-surveys, which our health establishments like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have been economical with from the beginning, not only in terms of conducting surveys but also with sharing their data. This data would show us what is commonly known in basic epidemiology as prevalence — the actual number of people actually infected. This would include those who were never tested, and thus could not be counted. Most of these infections were presumably asymptomatic or of mild nature, and recovered on their own. However, to the extent such surveys were conducted by the ICMR or other bodies, they showed that for every ‘case’ count in India there are 50 or more undetected and hence uncounted infections that were mostly cured on their own, presumably due to natural immunity response.

Also read: Why a ‘mucosal’ Covid vaccine has a better shot at ending the pandemic

How Covid spread so widely in India 

It is the nature of any virus to spread quickly (the reason we use the term ‘viral’, signifying something that spreads fast). Although lockdowns were used in most countries to control the spread of coronavirus, it proved to be ineffective to various degrees. Governments better suited to enforce compliances were able to suppress the spread, only to face a resurgence when they tried to lift their lockdowns, as recently seen in many European countries and China.

The development of the pandemic in India, however, had a very different course. It was somewhat late in reaching the country, and thus a lot of hindsight was available to plan a more effective response. Yet, a rather long and stringent lockdown was imposed as the primary response, against the advice of many experts. Although the jury is still out in establishing whether lockdowns slowed down the pandemic, there are reasons why they failed in completely controlling the spread of Covid-19. However, it may well turn out to be a blessing in disguise, as it meant the widespread pandemic was building herd immunity silently and naturally.

First, urban slums were perfect places for the virus to spread quickly, lockdown or no lockdown. In fact, a vast number of poor migrant workers trapped in these slums could have only meant exposing them quicker to the infection. One of the key advisers to the Modi government, Dr Srinath Reddy, publicly acknowledged that a more scientific approach would have been to let them go back to their villages during the first wave, but it was probably a political (or bureaucratic) decision to stop their movement for weeks. It was then not surprising that a large number of them were infected, before they were even allowed to go back to their homes.

Second, life didn’t stop while strict lockdown rules were touted. ‘Essential’ services had to continue, which meant almost anything on earth could be ‘delivered’ — including pizzas and burgers. There is nothing wrong with this, but it should have been obvious that the virus would not distinguish between what was ‘essential’ and what was not, just like a ‘super-efficient’ bureaucracy.

Third, as time passed, people realised that Covid-19 was not as risky as it was made out to be. Most of the initial casualties were due to institutional quarantine facilities or hospitals that themselves became hotspots. There was also a realisation, especially among the poor, that this was a pandemic for the rich and fearful who stayed indoors in their air-conditioned rooms, as it became evident that the virus was much less likely to spread in open spaces. Many even started believing it was some kind of a conspiracy or hoax, and even refused to be tested. Many started paying lip service to lockdowns, masking and social distancing. In hindsight, all this again may look like a blessing in disguise.

The above factors must have contributed to the widespread of Covid-19 across the Indian population, despite the lockdowns and partial ‘unlock’ phases. While the government increased its testing and counting of cases, the actual number of infections razed through the population by a factor of 50 times or more, as serological test results on a large-scale, sporadic sero-surveys, and mathematical modelling showed. So, when the number of cases reached over one crore, the actual infection numbers likely crossed 50 crore or more, perhaps 90 crore as government’s own experts recently estimated.

No government would want to accept that lockdowns were a terrible idea and that wider spread of the pandemic could result in the build-up of herd immunity and fewer number of deaths. However, it must be kept in mind that governments can neither be blamed nor credited for the spread of the coronavirus, because it was nature at work.

Thanks to the immunity brought on by nature, daily deaths related to Covid have come down to approximately 200 from the peak of around 1,200. Unless we are to believe that recent phases of ‘Unlock India’ led to further suppression of the virus, or our medical establishment found some wonder cure that the world doesn’t know about, nothing else can explain the falling number of deaths. Although every life counts, deaths due to Covid-19 always remained a relatively small number in our country, considering the fact that more than 26,000 people die in India every day due to different diseases. For example, reports suggest that about 2,000 people die from diarrhoea and 1,200 from tuberculosis or TB, every day. It would be lazy to attribute the low number of Covid-19 deaths in India to the government’s lockdown policies, in view of the above evidence.

Also read: How effective are Covid vaccines? Delhi centres to test for antibodies before & after shot

India is reaching herd immunity, vaccine or no vaccine

While the official reported figure of Covid ‘cases’ in India is currently around 1.06 crore, experts estimate that 90 crore Indians may have contracted the virus and developed natural antibodies. This means we are heading towards herd immunity very fast, as a government panel also seems to predict.

A good part of the confusion around public policy discourse in India regarding Covid-19 could be attributed to the relatively more fatal onset of the pandemic in the Western world. A politically charged atmosphere, due to allegations by the Donald Trump administration that China was hiding information about the virus and pushing the World Health Organization (WHO) to toe its line, has added to the confusion.

Considering this backdrop, people fortunate to be able to work from home are likely to look the other way or even curse ‘essential’ service workers for not following the lockdown norms and not maintaining social distancing, etc. They may also praise the sarkar for the falling number of deaths, while blaming crowds for continuing to go out to work, not wear masks, and not follow social distancing norms.

Such fortunate people would completely ignore the fact that it is the inability of our poor masses to follow the lockdown restrictions and social distancing norms that may have silently built India’s herd immunity to a large extent, even before the vaccines came in. This spring, when we can hopefully take a sigh of relief after Covid-19 becomes endemic like any other viral disease among us, we will surely credit the lockdowns and the vaccines as a panacea, completely forgetting the role nature itself played.

Sanjiv Agarwal is the founder of the Good Governance India Foundation, Mumbai. Views are personal

This article is the second of a two-part series, you can read the first part here.

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  1. The article reeks of hatred for Modi Govt than giving us facts about what is the status of herd immunity in the country. While we may argue about whether the Govt was fast/slow/unresponsive in proper forums, misleading headlines to use the article for bashing the govt is waste of time for readers who came to genuinely gather information.

  2. Don’t spread lies, just to criticize the Govt. This news portal’s political leaning is well known, what with funding sources, Padmashree etc.

    The statement “It was somewhat late in reaching the country, and thus a lot of hindsight was available to plan” is baseless. The couple of weeks’ delay for the virus to reach India is also thanks to the steps taken by the Govt. such as banning passenger flights from China. Many western countries failed or faltered in the respect, including Canada where I live.

    It is absolutely nonsense to say there was ‘hindsight’ available. There were very disturbing news of spread, deaths, lockdown and nervous grappling with an emerging situation coming from China, Italy and Iran. The horrible history of 1918 Spanish flu, which claimed an estimated 20 million lives in India alone was staring at the face. The only ‘hindsight’ in the short period was Chinese ‘success’ in controlling the spread by draconian lockdown. You are one of those hindsight sermon Pundits who are always in the lookout to find something to criticize the current ruling dispensation.

  3. Few points:
    – Has nature played it’s role in generating herd immunity – YES
    – Has central and state government acted in best possible way to control it – It depends, when this pandemic started, even medical fraternity had very little knowledge of this new virus. So initially lockdown was seen as possible cure but soon it was known that virus knows no boundaries. It will spread and spread fast.
    – How about inherent ability of Indians to fight some viral infections ? We face seasonal flu, dengue, H1N1 etc every year and our living conditions are not exactly clean. Compare that to western countries where people can fell ill even by just drinking tap water or inhaling some pollutants.

  4. Print anything! This outfit is surely financed to discredit the government and its effort. The author is actually implying that no vaccine is required as 90 crore Indians have developed herd immunity. Laughable!

  5. Very true. But kadhas are desi stuff, something to be laughed at. Entire country used their own versions and here we are today with no impact of Covid on our death rates. But one and all are averse to give credit to our Desi Totkas(medicine) which are homemade versions of Ayurvedik medicines. Why our so called intellectuals forget that much before Alopathy came into existence, india had a fully evolved medicine system for thousands of years.

    Lankan minister who advocated use of these traditional concoctions is a topic of joke when she unfortunately caught Covid recently, but no one utters a word when Israel reports 12000 Covid positive cases amongst Pfizer vaccinated population.


  6. The purpose of the lockdown was not only to control the spread. It was meant to give time to the health infrastructure in our country to upscale in order to meet the growing demands. Right from manufacture of PPE kits, masks etc to the provisioning of beds at hospitals and specialised Covid facilities were achieved during the lockdown which went a long way in ensuring that the rise in the number of patients once unlock started back in May could be handled in a much better way. Even though I agree with your point about nature playing it’s part, it won’t be fair to discredit or belittle the role that the Central and the state governments played. Without the lockdown, we could have easily got too many cases too quickly which our health facilities clearly could not have handled and would have resulted in far more deaths than we have seen till now.

  7. On second reading it is evident this is just an attempt to deny any credit to Modi for anything.
    Crores of Indians not dead? — it is the people not anything govt has done.
    So what about the vaccine rollout — Modi will get praise for that, so we should stop it as population has reached herd immunity?

  8. I only read heading of the topic and i was pretty sure “The print”(Anti right wing gang) will be crediting herd immunity the reason for our present covid recovery and propagating the agenda of anti modi for past covid scenerio….Does this agency is financed by Pakistan or CPC ???

  9. We Indians are used some home remedies/precautions in our day to day life.
    I heard from many that they used Kada or Kashaya of some plants/herbs, drink hot milk boiled with Haldi, to name a few, every day & also some homeopathic/ayurvedic immune medicines. Even my family has been consuming these. I have a strong reason to believe that these have helped in increasing our immunity from Covid. Of course as responsible citizens, we have been also following social distance norms to a very large extent. Our food habits with spices, I believe, also act as immune builders.

  10. Because of too much population,plenty of idle time and increasing number of English language readers in our country such ignorant and craps are able to push such unscientific articles for selfish and ulterior motives and position .

  11. Apply your own thinking – Why are infections going down? Do you think India is capable of detecting each case? Do you think there are only 10Millions infected in a big and most densely populated country? No, of course there are way more than that. As per my Science Knowledge, I do know that once you get infected with a strain of a virus the probability of getting infected with it again in recent times is way less, for human bodies can generate antibodies. What this article said was mostly true. Rather than being overly skeptical and trying to find the flaws on anything directly, try thinking and analyzing things first.

  12. Give a monkey a laptop, and it will write a more scientific article than this guy did. No scientific evidence, just his opinions, and his resources are : more opinions of other “JOURNALISTS”. Such articles should be taken in a comedic sense, and it doesn’t make sense for it to be in the News or scientific Journal.

  13. What exactly is the point being made? That that the pandemic is has been brought under control in India because of non compliance of lockdown restrictions?
    If that were so, the UK,US ,France and other European countries which had a very laid back approach to enforcing restrictions to slow down the spread of COVID 19 should now be free of the virus. And China which implemented probably the strictest lockdown In the world before anyone else should be in crisis mode today! Exactly the reverse is true today. US ,and several European countries are in complete disarray and China has emerged as the only country to have recovered almost totally today.

    • It depends on the where we are living,climatic conditions, the way one is eating.
      Western countries is filled with packed food.
      No one will spend time for cooking that is done only in india.
      We have proverb “Food is the Medicine”
      It’s a deep science of ayurveda and old culture ideas that’s protecting india
      It’s time to realize India’s inner source of energy
      Every one is saying india is moving towards
      Developed nation.
      If they measured in terms of developed nation factors like infrastructure and money .
      I wont accept that india is already developed nation with rich culture heritage morals and way of moving to western culture is shifting towards undeveloped nation

  14. What exactly is the point being made? That that the pandemic is has been brought under control in India because of non compliance of lockdown restrictions?
    If that were so, the UK,US ,France and other European countries which had a very laid back approach to enforcing restrictions to slow down the spread of COVID 19 should now be free of the virus. And China which implemented probably the strictest lockdown In the world before anyone else should be in crisis mode today! Exactly the reverse is true today. US ,and several European countries are in complete disarray and China has emerged as the only country to have recovered almost totally today.

  15. Seriously how can anybody post such silliness. Mayhaps, the author of this screed should educate himself a little bit before posting such unmitigated garbage. At the bare minimum if he has children he should ask them to pay attention at school and learn the method of science. Percussionist is spot on in calling this entire article as garbage.

  16. Please dont write such articles Mr Agarwal, without scientific knowledge. You don’t have basic understanding on what Herd Community is….

  17. First pic in the article confirms your agenda of downplaying India’s efforts in combating covid and showing government in bad light. Nothing different can be expected from prints like you

    • Exactly. ,’deny the credit to the government’ is the subject title around which the entire garbage has been sewed. And The Print is the obvious publisher.

    • Exactly. ,’deny the credit to the government’ is the subject title around which the entire garbage has been splashed. And The Print is the obvious publisher.

  18. This is utter nonsense and garbage written here. The writer have no sense ,what he is writing about .After reading this article it looks like “Is bhandhey ke parents be isko time per school Nahi beezza. “I don’t understand why these people don’t give credit to something which is totally understood and truthfull.The credit should go to good governance plus there are other factors also.we are lucky we indians have good immunity towards all this kind of viruses and bacterias as we live in tropics and our natural immune system is strong. We are habitual for all these kind of things .Not only we but all peoples who live in tropics. Secondly the food we eat is completely cooked not like what our counterparts eat in West and other places .The spices which we eat primarily may not have nutritional value but they definitely have medicinal values.
    As mentioned in the article I think we are far away from heard immunity but if there is any such case scenario then credit should go to good governance plus all other related factors mentioned.

  19. Comments made are without robust scientific references. It sounds like biased criticism rather than balances appreciation. Biased writing reduces credibilty of an article.

  20. Whatever is written by the author is absolutely true, I remember our complete area was unwell (lost of taste and smell) in the month of April-May but no one tested and cured themselves naturally (hot water, kaada and steam were the remedies), more than 60% people must have infected but unaware or not tested themselves, I think for poor all this (lockdown,social distancing) doesn’t matter as he needs to earn everyday for his living

  21. the writer is the founder of Good Governance India, so does this means good governance by the government is not required, people can do it on their own?

    Seriously, is he a scientist with any data backing him up or just happily rambling on?

  22. That it is not a scientific paper per se is undisputed.It is a social wish analysis with a positive approach.
    However it is agreed that recurrenc is feared and is a nightmare that has not been ruled out.
    The article is well reasoned and I wish it well.
    God bless.
    Dr ravishwar

  23. Sorry to say but expected a better editorial quality from India Today. Topics like COViD need to be science based. This is conjecture and a drawing room analysis of a serious issue

  24. Please help Indians to take vaccine with the help of your articles and give the credit to Rahul Gandhi if you wish but lets use the power of pen for constructive purposes.

  25. “While the government increased its testing and counting of cases, the actual number of infections razed through the population by a factor of 50 times or more, as serological test results on a large-scale, sporadic sero-surveys, and mathematical modelling showed..”
    Your reference on serological surveys is a twitter account! How low can you get! And we know about mathematical modelling which predicts tens of millions of death in India with corpses lining the streets!
    First you curse Modi for the lock down, you laugh at him for his efforts to bring a sense of purpose and solidarity by lighting lamps, and then you want to wish away the country’s success in its fight against covid by claiming herd immunity! In doing so, you are denigrating the thousands that have worked tirelessly to contain this virus, the front line workers, the policemen etc.
    You and your compatriots in the west cannot believe that India can contain the virus. Shame on you. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing!

  26. Perhaps the author needs to read what happened in Sweden when exactly with this logic of developing herd immunity politicians did not shut down the country. So much for science and rationality.

  27. So, in other words, the ‘writer’ is trying to say that those who did not wear masks and failed to maintain social distancing and hygiene norms actually did society a favour! What a controversial and dangerous statement!

    And how about the numerous people who got infected and passed away, as a direct result of coming across people who did not follow safety protocols?

    Proof that little knowledge is a dangerous thing.


    True. I am a M.B;B.S. FAMILY PHYSICIAN ,

  29. Everybody become an expert in retrospect and the author is one of the many such available in India. When u hv 130 crore people to manage in a poor country where health infrastructure in tatters beyond metros and u have no clue about the severity of the desease , will u wait for next 4-5 months to let people die and then decide to take an action ?? He is mad and must not have lost any close friend/ relative. Else he wouldn’t let the people get herd immunity. Sweden went for herd immunity and we all know what happened in the end, they accepted it was a mistake and then went for drastic controls.
    One of such expert claimed in April/ may last year that millions will die in India andhe is from a leading US institution. I really hate these people..

  30. What kind of new bullcrap is this, was the author high while writing this?
    This reminds of school, when we were given a question and we didn’t know the answer, we’d fill it with all sorts of shit, hoping that luckily we’d get some marks, sorry to say this, Mr. Sanjiv Agarwal, you get a zero.
    What’re the sources in your article? Hearsay and bloody WhatsApp forwards.
    Ah yes, us Indians have developed a special gene to fight against covid, would you also say that drinking cow-piss would build our immunity because the people who drank it haven’t gotten sick.
    I’m pissed that I had to use my precious time, replying to a knuckle headed author who clearly doesn’t have a better job than spreading such bullshit.

  31. Indians have not developed herd immunity, its just that , corona virus has lost its power and strength in the process oftransmission from people to people.

  32. Some non sense article criticising the govt as usual. Why 90 crores infected say the entire population of 133 crore. It is confused persons like this author who don’t want to know that India’s lock down lasted long and unlike Europe or the US we didn’t allow beaches, malls, theatres, schools and colleges to open nor did we allow travel. Excellent tracking and lot of testing e. g TN has done almost 20℅ of the population testing. These people now say don’t take vaccines.

  33. Trash!…Head i win tail you loss….seems to be the theme of this article,which is so full of self contradictions . If 90 crore Indians indeed got infected,why it was not reflected in positivity rates at various times.Also even if we take a case fatality rate of 1 percent ,we should have at least 10 million dead by now,as compared to less then 2 lakh which is consistent with the figure of total cases above 10 million.From the very begining,the messengers of doom and gloom were painting a scary picture of millions of Indians dying and health infrastructure crumbling under corona’s onslaught.They were literally salivating at the prospects of embarassing govt with streets filled with corpses,citing govt inefficiency and inability to enact timely lockdown.
    And when all their gloomy prophecies came to a big naught ,when India decided to go for one of the most harsh lockdown,buying precious time for preparing health infrastructure,most of them wisely chose to keep mum but some of them can’t simply stomach this simple fact that India with her limited resources has so far done a commendable job in handling covid situation as compared to resource rich west.we were not only able to keep Covid situation under control but also were among the select few to embark upon mass vaccination.So this garbage is being dished out to make them feel as if they have committed some crime by remaining comparatively unscathed by virus.

  34. Even during early lockdown (April to June) we didn’t have any care to wear masks or maintain social distancing. People even travelled by bus in large numbers where let alone any distancing but it was like the exact opposite was advised. From August onwards, our mindset was that Corona is history, which obviously extends to this date when the mass is actually acting like there has never been any pandemic. Masks? What’s that? Sanitiser? Give me a break. You know that attitude.

    It’s just common sense that a staggering number of us have have got the virus. That’s how we started to achieve herd immunity. I don’t know at what level of herd immunity we are at present but from the magically low fatality rate we can pretty much assume a pretty large population have achieved it.

    Apparently Covid has taught that living like animals like we Indians do has its own advantage as well. Less the hygiene more the immunity and so on. Why bother with masks or sanitiser or washing hands eh!

  35. Absolutely out of mind article with the author having no idea of what he is saying…total rubbish…. criticism should be fact based

  36. Quality of data was not discussed in this article. At a time when common people who took the bodies of their loved ones for cremation came to know how more dead bodies were being cremated at these places, how technicalities were used not to register deaths as deaths due to Covid, how people just didn’t go for testing even if they were not feeling well and had symptoms of Covid out of fear, how some people even died at home with symptoms of Covid while their family members refused to take them to the hospital out of fear, the quality of data is difficulty to ascertain. We are a nation of “jugad”. Life is difficult here. Here people cannot be made to fear and stop the struggle of survival at the same time. Death due to hardship of life is a very common thing here.

  37. Looking backwards, one can only say that whatever was done or happened in India turned out to be good.
    Nobody knew how deadly the virus will be for Indians, so all the precautions were right.
    Few people did not follow the precautions, and it can be said that they spread the virus in a controlled manner.
    Herd immunity is like saying “Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Only that many many more would have died if it was left to the nature.
    Now vaccine will act in the same way what the govt and the few people did during the lockdown, but in a very controlled and informed manner.

  38. Would have been better if the article was reviewed by people from scientific community. Right not it’s like why did I even read this article.
    Looking backwards, one can only say that whatever was done or happened in India turned out to be good.
    Nobody knew how deadly the virus will be for Indians, so all the precautions were right.
    Few people did not follow the precautions, and it can be said that they spread the virus in a controlled manner.
    Herd immunity is like saying “Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Only that many many more would have died if it was left to the nature.
    Now vaccine will act in the same way what the govt and the few people did during the lockdown, but in a very controlled and informed manner.

  39. We may be the lowest in the world but There is a clear correlation between infections and number of deaths, as seen at the peak. At the time we were no where near herd immunity. So at any fractional percentage level of population we would have far more deaths than today. There needs to be more research and perhaps xedit given where due or to natural immunity of rural population. But we are surely nowhere within herd immunity or 100’s of millions infected

  40. So you are telling me I am supposed to be thankful to ignorant fools because of whom the pandemic prevailed for so long, which in fact could have been curbed much sooner thereby not allowing such a circumstance of “herd immunity” to occur in the first place.

    Have you looked at New Zealand ? That’s where your entire argument and article fails.

    Yes our population is a lot more in number and our circumstances different. But that certainly doesn’t warrant such a trash piece of a baseless opinion in the form of an article.

    You have taken the full advantage of “data” that you have? This whole piece sounds like it didn’t even see the D in data and referred to the D in absurdity. Please stop disgracing fact based argument and drawing conclusions from good scientific basis.

  41. The author is not quoting where he is getting evidence about herd immunity. The author is also mysteriously silent about indigenous traditional immunity enhancing medicines that is still playing a substantial role. Our civilizational intelligence may be a bit too much for the world to digest. Who cares, as long as the covid numbers dwindle!

  42. May have; Could have?
    Rather opinionated
    A conjectural piece not based on factual scientific evidence.
    Personal opinions cannot be headlines
    Come on ‘Print’, we can do better.

  43. I have no idea how people got an impression that Indians are immune or whatever… The reason why the cases aren’t rising is because they aren’t releasing the real results or they aren’t conducting tests properly… This is the same BS China pulled

  44. Another left liberal Gang trying to build narrative that India is performing better in covid fight is due to herd immunity .We are nowhere near herd immunity . This is propaganda to disown the effort of government and healthcare workers

  45. Farmer’s protest in Delhi borders did not lead to a Covid outbreak. Why? None of the farmers are wearing masks. Rather than herd immunity, has the virus died out of existence? The virus just could not find enough people to infect after September that is the truth. Was it use of masks that stopped the virus in its tracks.

  46. What do you really want ? Its a head I win, tail you lose kind of proposition author is insisting upon.Its very easy to sermonize taking advantage of hindsight.These are the same fellows who predicted doom for Indian populace with a prophecy of millions dying with health infrastructure completely giving way.Now when all their fanciful predictions came to a naught they are trying to give a twist to the tale.
    If herd immunity has really kicked in as esteemed author insists,why then have the positivity rate been comparatively too low throughout.If 90 crore or so of Indians have really been infected by Corona virus ,why is that not been reflected in sero surveys ? For a moment even if we accept that such a huge number has really been infected and we go by the fatality rate prevalent in so called developed and transparent countries then we should have at least 10 million people dead by now. Now don’t tell us that people are dying and govt is hiding all those figures.

  47. In villages nobody wears a mask. The virus never spread to the villages and towns. I don’t think it is because of herd immunity. The lockdown of transportation ensured the virus could not travel everywhere.

  48. There is no question that the rather complete lock-down in the initial stage helped greatly in preparing the country to face the pandemic when it started spiking.Otherwise we would have been faced with the severe shortage of preventive protection equipment like masks,hand sanitisers, personal protective equipment for health workers,enough provision of hospital facilities like beds,ICU.Ventilators and Oxygen supplies.As a consequence of the initial lock-down,India not only produced enough of these protective gear,and even became an exporter of these items.But for the lock-down,none of these would have been achieved in time to cope with the subsequent surge.

  49. A very good article! India is saved by nature or God, again. The central govt may trumpet that it’s the stringent lockdown that helped, but the reality is, the stringent lockdown created the avoidable big problem for migrant laborers who had to walk thousands. Compare this with the way Bangladesh or Pakistan did where lockdown was implemented phase-wise so that people could arrange for their own. The worst thing that the central govt. did was not to take any actions to help the migrant laborers; it put the responsibility squarely on state govt. who’re already cashless due to GST implementation.
    The big reason why Indians are not that affected by covid-19 virus is that the environment here is unclean, dirty and we Indians, especially the people from villages have developed strong immunity. It’s well known that if an Indian goes abroad he never gets sick, but anybody from the western world who comes to India mostly gets sick. No doubt covid-19 might have spread very fast in India, but very few really developed the symptoms. So it’s nature or God who played the major role in saving India from covid.

  50. Lot of assumptions and mostly presumptions. We need not have to be so self defeating. Nothing is easy when it comes to the scale and size of India . But considering how the pandemic has unfolded in other countries, specially in Sweden (since the thrust of your article is towards nature and herd immunity) we did pretty good overall . Credit should be given where its due.. i.e. to the people who participated and have been participating at the forefront be it at the administration or medical support or vaccination..

  51. What ????? Seriously ?? Does the person who wrote the article know that this so called “immunity” lasts for just a few months ( 3 according to some studies ) !!!
    I thought this was a satirical article when I began to read it .
    I was shocked that the writer actually meant it

  52. It is not heard immunity just a manipulation of numbers by all the states through gradually increasing (the less accurate) antigen tests vis a vis (the very accurate) RT-PCR tests. By doing so the Covid positive numbers have been artificially and gradually been brought down. There are already many news reports of how many deaths are not been reported as such and are being attributed to other health issues. This manipulation has gone unnoticed largely since 80% of Covid infections are ASYMPTOTIC. The reality of Covid infections became very evident when it was made compulsory to do RT-PCR tests before reopening schools in Karnataka. About 160+ teaching staff tested positive. Same was the case when IIT-Madras was reopened. Therefore in order to avoid further emarassment now Goverment of Karnataka has not made it mandatory for Covid tests if there are no symptoms.

    • Even if we suppose Covid is silently spreading if many are asymptomatic, number of ICU admissions is coming down.
      Why? Is the Covid strain in India less virulent than USA or Europe? Or are our immune systems better able to cope with this virus?

  53. I think this is the worst article published by The Print.. author has no clue, makes statements as facts, quotes numbers without context and looks like had conclusion written before rest of article. If his statements were true India would have had stats that would have been too staggering to ignore or have immunity that doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.

    As a person, who has lived in 7 countries (on various scale of pandemic), either India is going through “low” of curve seen in other places (and maybe high will not come with vaccines) or by some unknown immunity have managed to escape transmission at scale or most likely all combination. But to suggest this is due to 90 crores + infections already is laughable unless supported by data and not statements.

    Let us please qualified people write these articles with data backed conclusions.

  54. This is the kind of polemic garbage written when people who have zero understanding of science start writing on topics related to science. We’re very far away from herd immunity – clearly the author has no clue what he’s talking about. Moreover primarily vaccines are given to prevent deaths.

    This article offers absolutely no argument to substantiate that people have already been infected – just conjecture and quoting a couple of journalistic articles based on hearsay. These kind of substandard articles don’t bode well for the reputation of The Print. Better editorial oversight is needed to weed out such hogwash.

    • No You dont understand, once You join the leftists and write any gibberish for websites like Print OR NDTV, content, truth, reality…these things mean nothing. You can basically write anything, and get away with it. There was a Doctor, who came on NDTV just when the lockdown had started. I remember his name was Dr Arvind Kumar. He spoke like Dr Death. Painted such a doomsday scenario, that one felt as if the world is coming to an end. Then I consoled myself that its NDTV. Have patience. Things might not be so bad. In the end, India did very well. Our efforts were praised by WHO, other developed countries. A population of 1.4 billion was NOT decimated as doomsday experts on NDTV predicted. There were no crores of bodies in morgues as some other ‘expert’ from Barkha Dutt’s show predicted. Hence, these guys now have to do something! They can now nit pick and find faults like yours and mine aunts and grannies in villages.

    • Too much to expect from The Print to write anything which makes sense in positive direction. They forget that they’re writing about India and Indians and yet mock them about their existence or survival instincts. Most annoying article I have ever read in the history of journalism.

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