Amidst the gloom and ominous portents brought about by the raging second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are worries that some states may go complacent as they have managed the crisis better so far.
A section of social media users in Tamil Nadu and Kerala have gone to town about how they are not suffering from life-saving shortages like medical oxygen or hospital beds.
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) April 23, 2021
But data on the pandemic show otherwise. If figures from the first wave of the pandemic are any indication, it may just be that the two states are having a delayed peak compared to the national average.
Tamil Nadu has always had a 10-12 days lag from the national peak. According to T Jacob John, retired professor of virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore quoted in The Hindu in a report on the first wave of the pandemic, “Case fatality has been consistently about 1.6 per cent, equal to that of Karnataka and marginally lower than the national average of 1.8-1.9 per cent.”
“Tamil Nadu’s epidemic curve peaked 10-12 days after the national peak and that also indicates that the state did not lag behind for interventions. From early October, numbers are steadily declining in the state,” said Prof John.
Projections by Washington-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) also show the same going ahead.
Tamil Nadu has announced 30-hours of non-stop curfew (from Saturday evening to Monday morning) to restrict movement of the people. COVID-appropriate social behaviour, regular hand wash and use of face mask in public places besides rapid vaccination are the things that could lessen the impact of the virus on these states as opposed to the unprecedented crisis Delhi and other states are facing.