Why Does India Have So Few Covid-19 Cases and Deaths?
— April 16, 2020
By Arpit Gupta, Anup Malani and Reuben Abraham
There are four possible explanations:
- The epidemic may have struck later than in other countries. Since epidemics have exponential growth at the start, a small delay can have massive effects on the number of cases.
- India’s 21-day lockdown may have successfully suppressed the epidemic. Physical distancing is one of the best ways to slow the epidemic and, if anything, many have criticized the lockdown for being too draconian in that regard.
- India has not been able to test enough to count all cases and deaths. Without sufficient testing, many deaths may not be labeled with Covid-19 for official statistics, leading to an underestimation of the severity of the crisis.
- India may have protective characteristics against Covid-19. Researchers have proposed that the low share of elderly in the population, the high temperatures and humidity in India, widespread BCG vaccination for tuberculosis, or resistance to malaria have helped India escape the brunt of the pandemic.
Read the full Quartz India article.
Arpit Gupta is Assistant Professor of Finance.