Covid-19: Lancet praises India’s early lockdown, pool testing and vaccine development initiatives
The Lancet has assessed how India handled the Covid-19 situation and given a mixed review. In its editorial titled “Covid-19 in India: the dangers of false optimism”, it said India is clearly facing a “dangerous period”, though the country has responded well in many regards, “especially for such a large and diverse nation”.
“India has also been at the forefront of efforts to develop and manufacture a vaccine, both through domestic vaccine candidates and manufacturers such as the Serum Institute of India preparing production capacity for internationally developed vaccine candidates,” the British medical journal noted.
“The rapidly growing case numbers, alongside the continuing relaxation of restrictions, are creating an atmosphere of fatalism mingled with false optimism that undermines effective use of non-pharmaceutical interventions such as masks and physical distancing,” it added.
4 things Lancet credits India for
* Early lockdown, which was praised by the World Health Organization (WHO)
* Rolling out pooled testing, where multiple swab samples are tested using one RT-PCR test kit. If the pool tests negative, the entire group can be called negative. If the pool tests positive, at least one of the samples is positive.
* Research for vaccine
* Increasing tertiary care provision, including access to specialist equipment such as ventilators.
4 things Lancet discredits India for
* Atmosphere of fatalism mingled with false optimism that is undermining importance of social distancing, the use of masks etc.
* ICMR supporting Covid-19 treatment with hydroxychloroquine despite insufficient evidence .
* Parallel crisis of economic slowdown, including the migrant crisis.
* Presenting the current situation in India with a too positive spin.