What is the Fatality Rate for COVID in India?

@sfmatheson @swamidass

I have been thinking about this subject and I have a question.
As per recent seropositivity studies in India, the number of people infected with Covid-19 is 10 times that of the number who have been detected through tested.

This places estimates of Infection fatality rates at 0.1%.

Also, it indicates that the disease is asymptomatic or mild in 98% of the cases (around 2% would need oxygen support).

A lower IFR indicates a lower risk for a challenge trial…

My question is whether these facts will change the scale of the test required to determine the effwxtivity of the virus?

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I haven’t seen any credible estimate of an IFR that low. We know it varies pretty significantly by population, so any claim that it is 0.1% is at best incomplete (in what population?) but likely way off. It is certainly not a “fact” that IFR is 0.1%.

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I dont know if you will find the source is “credible”. I was referring to newspaper reports in India claiming the IFR rates are 0.1%, based on ICMRs seropositivity rates study.
I am attaching a newspaper article written by a guy called Dr Jay Bhatacharya who is a proffessor of medicine in Stanford University USA.

Very interesting newspaper article indeed!

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This one by Ioannidis is of interest

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Well that is an interesting piece indeed. I am sure that it is premature to conclude that there is a single IFR for India, since we know very well that there is not one “IFR” for an entire nation much less for a subcontinent. But it’s clear that seroprevalence data can make a decisive difference in how epidemiologists will model and understand the pandemic. The experts I listen to in the US are still very concerned about how very far away we are from herd immunity, and I myself tested negative for abs despite being sick with very COVID-like symptoms a month ago.

But you’re right that there seems to be credible evidence emerging of IFRs that are encouragingly lower than we previously expected. Assuming that evidence holds up, then I am sure it can lead to better management of the pandemic.


The interesting thing is that the 60% mark for the chain breaking might not be written in stone either.

I remember reading somewhere (I think about newyork) claiming that the case numbers started falling after touching approx 20%.
Then there is some disturbing news from Sweden that people who had very minor symptoms are catching the disease again very soon. So herd immunity might not be a possibility at all.

End of the day, a good treatment protocol with more effective drugs might be necessary to beat the disease… atleast in India, where vaccination strategies for vaccines that are effective for shorter periods dont really work all that well.
It’s either that or an unprecedent, herculean mass vaccination programme to break the chain. I doubt its feasible in my country.

That’s for certain. Even WHO has arrived at best estimates of IFR @ 0.6 percent or so.

It’s a big mistake to make statements like that. There is no single IFR. We know it varies and we know lots of reasons why.

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People need averages to make policy decisions at different level.
I agree that local authorities are best placed to manage a pandemic…
But there will also be cases where policy has to be made at state and national government level… ans averages are needed for that.

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