Several states in India apparently have a low fertility rate. On Tuesday, NDTV Prime Time anchor Ravish Kumar alleged that the government had continued to change the metric that indicated India's success in combating the virus as cases rose.
In a video that remains uploaded to the NDTV YouTube channel, he said that the government had first noted that their efforts were successful as the doubling rate was low. He alleged that this metric had been changed as the rate at which new cases were cropping up increased. "Then they said don't look at this, look at the recovery rate. When the recovery rate fell short, they said look at the active rate," he says.
Finally, Kumar says, the government has asked people to look at the "fertility rate" which was "low". Having said it once, he says it again, explaining that the government had noted that the "fertility rate was low in 22 states".
Needless to say, netizens are having a field day with this clip. While NITI Aayog and World Bank data seems to agree with Kumar that fertility rates in the country have indeed fallen, several states in the country remain above the government target of 2.2. But this is a moot point anyway.
It is highly unlikely that Kumar would bring India's fertility rate into a conversation about the COVID-19 pandemic, and so netizens opined that the most obvious explanation was also the correct one -- that Kumar had meant to talk about India's fatality rate, and gotten mixed up.
Many took to Twitter sharing the clip and wondering how an award winning journalist could make such a gaffe. BJP leader and the party's Foreign Affairs Department in-charge, Dr Vijay Chauthaiwale too joined the fray.
"Ravish will get first Nobel Prize on COVID from global left-libs for this discovery," he jibed.