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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Covid 19 - statistics and perception - the Kerala model and Uttar Pradesh way !!

Covid 19 pandemic has brought the Globe on its knees ! ~ it is certainly bad with so many dying, yet it is perhaps not that bad as the media, more specifically social media has put it to be ! people vie with other to post statistics !! 

What is your understanding of Covid 19 – the way it has affected people ? –Are you seeing / hearing of people known to you, residing closer to you ? How much do you fear ? – how many times you venture out in a week ? –   Life is all about spreadsheets, powerpoints, videos and … .. statistics -   Stats is always as blind men see the elephant – the perspective that you see matters !  Often, media would belittle Uttarpradesh, the State with high % of illiterates as compared to Kerala, the State with high % of litereates.  

India is a Nation having States – and many of States have population equivalent to that of many Nations of the World. Before you read any further – remember India has 36 entities – 28 States and 8 Union territories and they are equal in terms of area or in terms of population.  Uttar Pradesh is the topper with 16.7% of population; Maharashtra has 9.22%; Tamil Nadu has 5.91; Andhra Pradesh has 3.9 and Kerala has 2.58% of the total population.


There are various ways of analyzing and interpreting – we regularly get to see – the aggregate no, of Covid afflicted; while the other possible modes are : the no. of active people affected; no. of deaths; % of recovery; % of people affected as compared to the total population of the State; density of people and more .. ..  

Corona numbers are threatening.  With its highest single day rise of novel coronavirus cases, Chhattisgarh crossed the one-lakh mark on Saturday, becoming the 18th state in the country to do so.  The coronavirus numbers in Chhattisgarh has grown at the fastest rate in the country in the month of September, at one point increasing by over six per cent per day. Its total caseload has increased by three times this month, from about 33,000 to over 1.02 lakh now. Not surprisingly, Chhattisgarh also has the highest reproductive number right now. Reproductive number, or R, is the number of people who get infected by an already infected person, on an average, and is a measure of how fast the epidemic is spreading in a population group.

Right out there, the blue-eyed State of the media, Kerala, once appreciated for  its effective resistance against COVID-19. State Health Minister K.K. Shailaja was  invited as a speaker to the UN Public Service Day !   prompting the actor-politician and twitter king to jump the bandwagon hailing the State and instructing the Tamil Nadu Govt to follow the Kerala model without ever thinking of its population, spread, literacy, geography, demography or anything else .. .. he, obviously is totally silent now.  

Kerala  surpassed neighbouring Tamil Nadu to fifth position in the number of active Covid-19 cases on Friday. The active cases rose to 48,892 in Kerala, 2,506 more than nearby Tamil Nadu. The state reported 6,000-plus cases for the second straight day. Of the 6,477 total cases, 6,131 patients were infected through local transmission.  Kerala’s peak started when the pandemic is showing a downward trend in other places, according to the chairperson, who says the peak will continue until early or mid-October if the present precautions continue. The number of active cases too will be high considering the number of new cases and the long treatment period.

While TN Health Minister Dr Udayabaskar is prominently visible right from Mar 2020, visiting hospitals, health care centres, discussing with Ministers, officials, Doctors, medical staff and social workers tirelessly, he did not get that recognition as his counterpart in Kerala got.  But now,  Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja has warned the public that the state might be forced to implement stringent measures including a second lockdown if the ‘irresponsible’ behaviour of a section of people in the name of protests does not end. In the initial phase, it was the great work of the Kerala Govt, but now it is the irresponsible behaviour of Keralites.   State health minister K K Shailaja on Sunday admitted that it is a testing time for Kerala and cases may go up sharply by next month.  More than 40,000 cases were reported in the last one week and the positivity rate has gone up to 11.9% while the national average is below 8%. “Our strategy was right from day one and we contained deaths considerably. Our death rate is still below one per cent. But of late cases are surging and it was expected. It is the second wave of the virus,” she said.

On Sunday, the state reported a newer high of 7,445 new cases taking the total to 1,75,384. Patients who have recovered stand at 1,17,921 and active cases are 56,709. With 21 new casualties, the death toll has gone up to 678.

Shun the media ! ~ reports are often biased.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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