How much of SARS-CoV-2 Infections is India detecting? A model-based estimation

Srinivas Goli, K.S. James

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Background and Rationale: Amid SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, the low number of infections for a population size of 1.38 billion is widely discussed, but with no definite answers. Methods: We used the model proposed by Bommer and Vollmer to assess the quality of official case records. The infection fatality rates were taken from Verity et al (2020). Age distribution of the population for India and states are taken from the Census of India (2011). Reported number of deaths and SARS-CoV-2 confirmed cases from The reported numbers of samples tests were collected from the reports of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). Results: The findings suggest that India is detecting just 3.6% of the total number of infections with a huge variation across its states. Among 13 states which have more than 100 COVID-19 cases, the detection rate varies from 81.9% (of 410 estimated infections) in Kerala to 0.8% (of 35487 estimated infections) in Madhya Pradesh and 2.4% (of 7431 estimated infections) in Gujarat. Conclusion: As the study reports a lower number of deaths and higher recovery rates in the states with a high detection rate, thus suggest that India must enhance its testing capacity and go for widespread testing. Late detection puts patients in greater need of mechanical ventilation and ICU care, which imposes greater costs on the health system. The country should also adopt population-level random testing to assess the prevalence of the infection. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. ### Clinical Trial This is a prospective modelling based study using data that existing in public domine. ### Funding Statement The study is an independent research work. There is no external or internal funding for this study. ### Author Declarations All relevant ethical guidelines have been followed; any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained and details of the IRB/oversight body are included in the manuscript. Yes All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. Yes The data used in this study are public available and also presented in the paper. The relevant web-based links are already provided in the article. [\_new/ICMR\_testing\_update\_08April\_9PM\_IST.pdf][1] [1]:
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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