A study that claims that the peak of coronavirus in India has been delayed by the eight-week lockdown and may now arrive around mid-November has been disowned by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which said today that it does not reflect its official position.
"The news reports attributing this study to ICMR are misleading. This refers to a non-peer reviewed modelling, not carried out by ICMR and does not reflect the official position of ICMR," the government's top medical research body tweeted.
The news reports attributing this study to ICMR are misleading. This refers to a non peer reviewed modelling, not carried out by ICMR and does not reflect the official position of ICMR. pic.twitter.com/OJQq2uYdlM— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) June 15, 2020
According to a report by Press Trust of India, the study was conducted by researchers from an Operations Research Group constituted by ICMR. The report quoted the study as saying that the lockdown shifted the peak of the pandemic by an estimated 34 to 76 days and helped bring down the number of infections by 69 to 97 per cent thereby allowing time for the healthcare system to shore up resources and infrastructure.
"In the scenario of intensified public health measures with 60 per cent effectiveness after lockdown, the demand can be met until the first week of November. After that, isolation beds could be inadequate for 5.4 months, ICU beds for 4.6 and ventilators for 3.9 months, projections by the health researchers showed," the report said.
But it added that the shortfall would be around 83 per cent less than what it could have been without the lockdown and public health measures.
Arvind Pandey, one of the authors of the study and a member of National Task Force (Operations Research sub-group), told NDTV that the study has been withdrawn and another author, Shankar Pinjra, refused to comment.