In a research conducted by Indian Institute of Management Indore faculty Professor Sayantan Banerjee and his team, it was revealed that MP, with necessary interventions controlled the surge of coronavirus infections.
“The state and local administration took all the necessary interventions. Had the trend of infection spread continued without implementing them, the current number of Covid-19 cases would have crossed the count of 10,000 (as compared to the current figure of around 4,500). Also, on the brighter side, the recovery rate currently stands at around 48 percent,” Banerjee said.
Banerjee has been doing a study on the COVID-19 situation prevailing in different states in India along with his collaborators, as a part of the COV-N Study group.
Around 30 days ago, their study had predicted 2,500 to 3,000 cases by the end of April, and the observed tally stood at 2,660 on April 30.
“We were using a network-based epidemiological model to predict the number of infections in the state. The primary aim of that study was to project figures for the number of infections, the possible burden on the healthcare system, and suggesting actions that can be taken by the administration at that point,” Banerjee said.
He stated that the hike in infections in a majority of districts across the country can also be attributed to the increased amount of testing (MP has a current testing rate of around 1,035 per million).
The study now aims to explore deeper aspects of the disease spread in state. “We feel that providing projected figures now will lead to some stress, as the administration and the general population are kind of aware of what a ‘no-intervention’ strategy would lead us to. Hence, we have now focused our attention on the district level scenario, especially the spread of infection in the red zone districts,” said Banerjee.
Silver lining for Indore, other red districts
The result of the study shows much optimism. The daily average infection rate for over 7 days for Indore now stands at 3.13% as on May 13 (as opposed to 8.18% on April 30).
The respective figures for Bhopal and Ujjain on May 09 were 4.83% (8.18% on April 30) and 7.77% (10.36% on April 30) respectively.
“One of the fundamental quantities to look at is the reproduction number (R0, pronounced as R-naught), and if it drops below 1, that would eventually lead to contain the infection spread. We have used a Bayesian Model approach to estimate the evolution of this R0 over time,” Banerjee explained. The reproduction number over the past one month has dropped for all the three districts concerned and the current estimate stand at 1.543 (Indore), 1.314 (Bhopal), and 1.468 (Ujjain).
Indore has higher rate of obesity, blood sugar level
Apart from exploring the infection rate and the reproduction number, the study also gives a glance in the prevalence of co-morbid conditions in the districts, based on survey data provided by the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). It has been found that the male populations in the red and orange zone districts have higher rate of obesity, elevated levels of blood sugar, and high levels of blood pressure as compared with the green zone districts. “We propose to undertake a detailed study exploring the population characteristics and other health factors to arrive at valid statistical conclusions regarding the effect of the presence of co-morbid conditions and disease prevalence,” Banerjee said.
B-school conducting series of Covid-19 research
IIM Indore is conducting a series of researches around Covid-19 pandemic along with collaborators from other countries. “These researches include predictive models for Covid-19, response analysis of leaders, ways to build organisational resilience, stress management, and developing exit strategies for MSMEs”, said Prof Himanshu Rai, Director, IIM Indore, who is himself leading some of these initiatives.