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Covid-19 UK Vs India fatalities, I don't understand

(138 Posts)
Thubten Sat 11-Apr-20 09:54:44

Dear All,
I'm finding the figures all very difficult to discern. Why are some countries infections/death figures so horrendous? Africa and India's figures are nowhere near as scary. Many people in India are living close together with no running water. You'd think the perfect grounds for spread but as of yesterday only 199 people had died in India. I just don't get it. What's going on?
(to be clear, long may the low death rates continue in those places).
Can NZ avoid it or will they just be infected once they open their borders? Is it as simple as closing till the worst of it is over? The virus will still exist, is it possible to avoid?

OP’s posts: |
BrokenBrit Sat 11-Apr-20 09:58:48

Maybe it’s a lack of testing in some countries?
I have heard it spreads less in hot countries also but not sure how true that is.

NZ are different they are managing the situation very well. Time will tell if they can keep it that way.

GetTheSprinkles Sat 11-Apr-20 09:58:51

Failure to test, failure to report deaths
... statistics can't be trusted, especially from 3rd world countries who are likely struggling to source tests and where many may die at home without ever being seen.

NannyR Sat 11-Apr-20 10:00:04

I suspect that in many less developed countries, people will be dying before they can access medical care and their deaths won't be recorded as covid.

megletthesecond Sat 11-Apr-20 10:07:46

I suspect it's lack of testing and reporting, people being being spread out in huge rural areas.
However, there's always the tiny chance that vitamin D does help and they aren't deficient in it.

Thubten Sat 11-Apr-20 10:11:37

Thanks for replying.
The thing is Italy, Spain and France are all quite hot now too and have been for a few weeks now. It's baffling.

OP’s posts: |
SallyWD Sat 11-Apr-20 10:11:58

Yes definitely lack of testing and under-reporting.

Thubten Sat 11-Apr-20 10:12:22

I just read that NZ will not be opening up 'til vaccine has been found......

OP’s posts: |
ItsReallyOnlyMe Sat 11-Apr-20 10:12:34

The reason is the virus has really only just arrived there (as well as lack of testing). The copious amounts of travel between China and Europe (and the US) means Africa and India are several weeks behind, in the same way UK is behind Italy by 2 weeks. Unfortunately I fear it will sweep through these India and Africa. I think both are trying to contain it with lockdowns etc, but Covid 19 is so infectious this is just a delaying tactic (though a necessary one).

redbushtea Sat 11-Apr-20 10:13:29

Mark Twain: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'"

I think there is a lot of manipulation of figures going on.

pocketem Sat 11-Apr-20 10:13:30

The UK always has a bit of a colonialist attitude towards India and other similar countries, as exemplified by Oxbridge Jenny Harries' comment that the WHO advice was only for poor countries, not for Proper Countries like ours.
In fact India has a lot of experience in tackling epidemics, having eradicated polio, countered SARS, bird flu, swine flu etc. They never pursued a disastrous herd immunity plan and the had to do a 180 like the super smart UK government. They put into place a robust pandemic response early, going into lockdown at a stage when the superior British government was still encouraging people to go about their lives as normal, allowing Cheltenham festival and Champions League matches to go on as usual etc. In India they don't have doctors begging for PPE on Facebook unlike in the UK.
They've handled this much better than the British.

Heatherjayne1972 Sat 11-Apr-20 10:13:54

As I understand it in some of these places there’s very little to no medical care
It’s so very sad that people will die with no medical intervention at all.
I’m not even sure how deaths normally would get registered in such remote communities
Such a tragedy

Thubten Sat 11-Apr-20 10:13:58

Surely somewhere like Delhi would be horrendous. They have a huge pollution problem there too which apparently affects how you react to virus

OP’s posts: |
DuesToTheDirt Sat 11-Apr-20 10:16:11

Also travel? If you are poor you won't have travelled abroad and caught it, so in a poor area/country you are less likely to see it (I was wondering this recently about Ebola, whether it would have spread much worse if it had come from a developed country). Of course many in India are well off and do travel.

pocketem Sat 11-Apr-20 10:18:11

I wonder why more Indian doctors have died in the UK than in India...🙄

FiveShelties Sat 11-Apr-20 10:18:24


Where did you read about NZ not opening until Vaccine available? I am in NZ and have not heard that.

SonEtLumiere Sat 11-Apr-20 10:18:32

Surely somewhere like Delhi would be horrendous. They have a huge pollution problem there too which apparently affects how you react to virus

When did they report their first death there. They are several weeks behind the UK so regardless of anything else you wouldn’t expect them (at this stage) to be reporting the same number of deaths or cases.

Porcupineinwaiting Sat 11-Apr-20 10:19:36

Populations in developing countries tend to have a younger demographic, which will give some protection. But balanced against this are the effects of undernourisment and underlying disease.

I guess no one in rural India is testing or will be counting deaths when it comes to it. And in many parts of Africa people live their whole lives without access to medical care, so will ever know what they die of. Also, I bet coronavirus makes you more vulnerable to malaria etc - it was very common in Nigeria for people with HIV to actually die of malaria, which marked HIV numbers in the official stats.

Anyway, dont think you need to envy them.

Porcupineinwaiting Sat 11-Apr-20 10:21:12

masked HIV numbers

Derbygerbil Sat 11-Apr-20 10:21:51

The thing is Italy, Spain and France are all quite hot now too and have been for a few weeks now. It's baffling.

Deaths in those countries will be from people who contracted Coronavirus around mid-March... so even if temperature were a factor, it will take a while to work through in the figures.

Derbygerbil Sat 11-Apr-20 10:24:59

Also travel? If you are poor you won't have travelled abroad and caught it, so in a poor area/country you are less likely to see it

It just means it happens less quickly, not that it won’t happen. People were generally far less mobile in the 14th century than the average person is in India today, but that didn’t stop
the Black Death.... it took a few years to spread from Asia and across Europe though.

GrumpyHoonMain Sat 11-Apr-20 10:25:15

India are testing people who have come into contact with known Covid-19 patients, and those with symptoms. They have a strict lockdown that is being enforced by police. They also have their finest young minds developing a 600 dollar ventilator which when successful will transform healthcare in developing countries

SouthsideOwl Sat 11-Apr-20 10:25:59

Under reporting 100%. The most at risk in slums in India have potentially never seen the inside of a hospital. As well as the huge rural population.

Same with Africa.

It's tragic, but this will be a reporting issue.

Porcupineinwaiting Sat 11-Apr-20 10:26:53

And India has just seen a mass exodus from the cities to the countryside as day labourers who cant work during shutdown were forced to return
to their home villages. Believe me the virus will reach every corner of the country. sad

SonEtLumiere Sat 11-Apr-20 10:27:43

UK had 50 deaths on Mar 16th, India on March 31st, so 15 days later.

India has now 250 deaths compared to UK having about 700 15 days ago.
For me that comes with the confidence limits of following the same trajectory given delays/accuracy of reporting, demographics etc.

For me, I would have to think carefully about what parallels can realistically be drawn between the two countries, and their responses.

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