People ask me why the numbers in India are so low. Here my take:
14 Potential Reasons for a LOW corona-virus infection & death rate in India (with a population of 1.3 billion)
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi stopped issuing visas for Chinese citizens very early this year, right after the first virus cases in China became known. (At the time when in Italy the nationwide campaign „Hug a Chinese“ got launched to avoid accusations of racism linked to corona virus discrimination.) Furthermore, India suspended the issuing of new visas and visas already issued for nationals of Italy, Iran, South Korea, and Japan. Decisions to prevent India from entering high stage of infections. On 11 March 2020, the Indian government suspended all visas to India, except diplomatic, official, United Nations/International organisations.
- Right from ‘the beginning’ we had (and still have) various types of face masks available everywhere, in supermarkets and pharmacies, and through private initiatives which led to forming groups that sew ‘homemade’ masks. Neither in Germany nor in Italy people got face masks. People in Germany were told that masks do not help. BUT since 22 April, wearing masks is compulsory in Germany. Hard to believe, but worldwide, there is not even consensus on the topic of masks. Common sense tells me, they do help to a certain degree. A. to prevent people from spreading the virus (they might carry it without symptoms) B. shielding from picking up the virus, C. psychologically reassuring, and D. doctors and nurses wear them.
- India has a very young average population. Median age was 26.8 yrs in 2015, meaning half the population was older than that and half younger.
- Robust health due to living in sync with nature and closely to the elements, plenty of fresh air and sunlight. Agriculture, with its allied sectors, is the largest source of livelihoods in India. 70% of its rural households still depend primarily on farming for their livelihood. A strengthened immunity most likely also because people tend to eat with fingers – put food in their mouths with the bare hand and no cuttlery.
- People get challenged by serious infections such as Dengue, Typhoid, Malaria, Chikungunya etc. which are quite common, resulting not only in strong immune systems across the board and generations but also in a pragmatic (not panicky) approach to avoid infection risks. Challenges also based on lack of hygiene infrastructure over the past decades (pre-Modi), and direct contact with all sorts of bacteria, microbes and what not.
- India has more vegetarians than the rest of the world put together. Studies show that vegetarians tend to have an overall healthier lifestyle and therefore stronger body systems and longer lives. Indians have the lowest rate of meat consumption in the world (source: Sari Edelstein in Food Science, An Ecological Approach). Indian traditional food consists of rice, wholewheat flour (atta) and a wide range of pulses and vegetables. If meat is eaten, it is chicken, or goat / sheep or fish, not beef or pork.
- India has no history of regular / annual vaccinations such as annual flu shots. Vaccines are not only critical for people with already existing health issues or allergies. They can also cause a whole range of problems in young, healthy people. Vaccines can cause adverse reactions and can overload a human body given the complex ingredients such as human diploid cell strain MRC-5 (aborted fetal cells), formaldehyde, antibiotics, multiple compounds and drugs interacting with each other. Especially the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology in medicine has not been sufficiently tested to exclude their potentially dangerous impact on human health.
- People here are rooted in a rich holistic culture with Yogic science, Ayurveda etc. In fact, the Research Councils under the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India have issued advisory to prevent infections based on the Indian traditional medicine practices Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani.
- Though India’s IT sector is a top industry, and “Indian Minds Do Cutting Edge Work” in R&D, science and technology (quote from Forbes Magazine), the people here are far from being part of a technocratic society. In fact, Indians are much more aware of their spiritual roots than people in the West for example. Having that strong connection to nature and respect for god (or whatever you want to call that supreme intelligence that is larger than us humans, and that streams through every manifestation, be it stone, tree, animal or human) gives strength and hope, and opens opportunities. „There is no greater force in the world than our Passion and our Spirit. There is nothing in the world that we cannot achieve on the basis of this strength.“ – Narendra Modi, India‘s Prime Minister, 03. April 2020
- Similar to Germany, in India the doctors probably look closer at what a patient really has, and what an individual has died from – they do not just go by symptoms but properly check what is to be diagnosed and what to be stated on the death certificates. Though the numbers of infections was high in Germany, the actual rate of deaths due to covid-19 was comparatively low.
„Differentiating whether the cause of death is specifically due to COVID-19 or the result of treatment limitations can be difficult. To be able to better interpret case fatality rates, more data are thus needed (panel). First, the type and severity of organ failure: what are the real contributions of respiratory or cardiovascular failure? How many patients died with isolated respiratory failure, in shock or with acute kidney injury or multiple organ failure? Second, the actual process of death, including therapeutic limitation when present and the relative contributions of patient factors (eg, age and comorbidities) or environmental factors (eg, lack of facilities, beds, personnel, or equipment). Last, the real contribution to death of SARS-CoV-2 infection, because COVID-19 can be an epiphenomenon in some patients.“ – The Lancet, Respiratory Medicine (Note: Epiphenomenon = a secondary effect or by-product)
- Coronavirus testing rate is low. The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged countries to test as widely as possible to curb the pandemic, but India has only been testing those who have traveled from affected countries or come in contact with a confirmed case and shown symptoms after two weeks of quarantine. Indian officials have said the WHO guidance didn‘t apply in India because the spread of the disease has been less severe than elsewhere. Indian authorities have justified their restrictions as a way to keep a deluge of people from demanding tests. (source: India Today, 18.03.2020)
- One research paper has claimed that Indians are less susceptible to the ‘novel coronavirus’ due to their special genetic makeup. This research paper, funded by the government of India and the Indian Council of Medical Research, says Indians have a particular RNA protein that makes them less vulnerable to novel coronavirus.
- India is not a so-called ‘first world’ country, so the majority of people has no laptops or other handheld ‘smart’ devices, hence is not subjected to potentially harmful electromagnetic radiation that could weaken their immune system, nervous system and overall well-being.
- No controversial G5, which the wireless technology on Earth (cell towers etc) and in space (thousands of low-altitude satellites) which is likely to have a detrimental effect on human health. „It will take India at least another year to roll out the next generation of high-speed mobile internet, known as 5G“, Akhil Gupta, vice chairman of Bharti Enterprise, told CNBC in August 2019.
Note: The cities of Brussels / Belgium and Geneva / Switzerland have blocked trials and banned upgrades to 5G. No safety standards have been issued by any governments although there is ever more increasing demand by health officials to halt the erection of 5G towers and their usage. Scientists and doctors in almost 40 countries are warning the world about 5G health risks and the need for comprehensive investigations by scientists independent from industry. “I cannot welcome such technology if the radiation standards, which must protect the citizen, are not respected, 5G or not. The people of Brussels are not guinea pigs whose health I can sell at a profit. We cannot leave anything to doubt.” – Céline Fremault, Minister of the Government (Brussels-Captial Region)
Important to remember that the death probability due to a covid-19 infection is low amongst healthy human beings: the survival rate is 98%!
“The death rate from confirmed Covid-19 cases turned out to be 1.38 per cent.”
– Economic Times India
“Where massive screening has been performed in the whole population (eg, in South Korea and Switzerland), overall case fatality rates of less than 1% have been reported, because the denominator included many mild or asymptomatic cases. However, in countries where only people requiring hospital admission are being screened (eg, Italy and Spain), case fatality rates have exceeded 5%.”
– The Lancet, Respiratory Medicine
And even the “WHO reports that around 80% of people will experience a relatively mild form of the disease, which will not require specialist treatment in a hospital”
– Medical News Today
This list is meant to be food for thought. Please do your own due diligence / research to be able to make informed choices.