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Half of India’s population will test positive for coronavirus by year-end, 30 million Indians will need critical care: Health experts at NIMHANS

Only 5-10 per cent of cases that will have to be treated with high-flow oxygen and only 5 per cent would require ventilator support

The doctors and health experts at the National Institute of Mental Health & Neurosciences (NIMHANS) believe that the coronavirus cases in the country will increase in coming days and induce community transmission.

According to V Ravi, Head of Neurovirology, National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), and nodal officer in the Karnataka Health Task Force for coronavirus, it is estimated that by December 2020, half of the country’s population will be infected by the deadly virus.

He said that about 67 crore Indians will test positive for the Chinese pandemic by this year-end.

However, the experts added that 90 per cent of the affected will not be aware of them being coronavirus positive, because most of the people do not show any symptoms, and only 5 per cent will be seriously affected. The 5 per cent of the 67 crore positive cases in India, who will be in critical condition will itself make 30 million serious cases.

“It’s only 5-10 per cent of cases that will have to be treated with high-flow oxygen and only 5 per cent would require ventilator support,” said Dr Ravi.

He further suggested all the states to invest in the healthcare infrastructure to tackle the rise in cases, especially in those states where intensive medical care and treatment is heavily required.

As per the current level preparedness in the country, there are only 1,30,000 hospital beds available for the treatment of coronavirus patients. There are only 16,613 primary health centres in rural India. Out of these, there are only 6,733 health centres work 24 hours and only 12,760 health centres have 4 or more beds available making the country more vulnerable to pandemic in the future.

As per future estimates, about 3.5 crore people will be seriously affected by coronavirus pandemic by the year-end and out of this 70 lakh will come from rural India. Currently, rural districts account for 21% of the total coronavirus cases in India.

India will hit peak in July: AIIMS chief, experts

Dr Randeep Guleria, the Director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had recently cautioned that the coronavirus cases in the country will likely to reach its peak in June-July.

Dr Guleria added that the cases are continuing to grow at a flat rate and said it was very difficult to predict when the peak will come, but it is likely to peak around June or July, he added.

The AIIMS chief had added that one of the main reasons behind the increasing number of cases was increased testing. The AIIMS Director said that one would need to revisit the containment strategy being employed to craft it as per the evolving situation.

There has been a debate across the country regarding India reaching its peak of the coronavirus outbreak in the coming months, especially by June or July. The peak of any infection arrives when the affected cases reach the highest level and then start decreasing. 

According to some scientists, the country may hit a peak at around the beginning of July. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that coronavirus cases will start decreasing in the country by late July.

The international rating agency Standard and Poor’s, however, feels that the apex of coronavirus will not arrive before September and this would lead to the decline of the Indian economy by as much as 5% next year.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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