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Covid-19: which data point should I really believe?

May 26, 2020 16:57 IST

What are the numbers among the many coronavirus updates coming our way that we should be focusing on? Should we focus on coronavirus mortality rates or hospital occupancy rates in COVID-19 hotspots? How do we manage and calibrate our fears? Prof K. Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI says that the numbers that governments are focusing on to start relaxing lockdowns are the number of deaths per day. Ultimately, the objective of the overall response is to try and contain the number of deaths due to this deadly virus and contain its spread. It can be counted in two ways - case fatality rates and deaths per million. If we do widespread testing, we will have a lower case fatality rate, which counts asymptomatic patients in the total count, which inflates the tracking denominator. Deaths per million ensures a better picture of containment measures & case management success. Govindraj Ethiraj interviews Prof K Srinath Reddy on the numbers that are important & give a better estimate of the success of the fight against coronavirus in India.