For each Covid-19 case detected, Karnataka missed 90

For every one Covid-19 case detected, Karnataka missed 90; 60% of Indians exposed to coronavirus by now

This didn’t mean a flaw in the existing surveillance system, as these individuals may not be having any symptoms, Agrawal explained

These are the new findings of an Indian Covid-19 supermodel, which in its latest run with data till December 13, has found that nearly 60% of the Indian population may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, making it harder for the virus to find susceptible individuals. Credit: PTI Photo

For every Covid-19 positive case it detected, Karnataka missed 90 cases while more than 80 crore Indians may have been exposed to the virus by now even though most of them don’t have any symptoms.

These are the new findings of an Indian Covid-19 supermodel, which in its latest run with data till December 13, has found that nearly 60% of the Indian population may have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, making it harder for the virus to find susceptible individuals.

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Also, there was an uptick in the numbers in November, but the rise was not as much as feared, according to the model created by a group of scientists put together by the Department of Science and Technology.

"This may be an explanation why India never saw a second surge in the epidemic as apprehended. This, however, is only a finding of our model and there is no independent validation," mathematician Manindra Agrawal, dean at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and one of the members of the DST team told DH.

Why India never witnessed a second peak remains a scientific puzzle while such a surge has already been seen in the USA, Spain, Turkey, UK and Brazil.

Going by the supermodel’s prediction in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, for every detected Covid positive case, there have been around 300 individuals who escaped the surveillance net.

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Delhi and Kerala have much lower ratios as opposed to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar indicating a possible variation in how the virus is affecting people in different regions. The national average is 1:90, which is the same as Karnataka's. 

This, however, didn’t mean a flaw in the existing surveillance system, Agrawal explained. These individuals may not be having any symptoms and were unaware of their Covid status.

Besides Agarwal, the supermodel team includes former DRDO scientist M Vidyasagar, who is currently the chairman of IIT Hyderabad governing council; Gagandeep Kang of Christian Medical College, Vellore; Lt Gen Madhuri Kanitkar a senior medical officer from the Defence Ministry, Biman Bagchi of Indian Institute of Science and Arup Bose and Sankar Pal from Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

They also predicted that the epidemic in India would taper off by February 2021.

The model, however, attracted criticism from several scientists for the methods adopted.