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Indian Govt Trots Out Meaningless Data As COVID-19 Cases Rocket Despite Lockdown

The Indian government is using incomplete national-level data to justify arbitrary policy decisions, defend its record, and underplay the extent of the COVID-19 crisis.

SAMARTH BANSAL
SAMARTH BANSAL
1 min read
Indian Govt Trots Out Meaningless Data As COVID-19 Cases Rocket Despite Lockdown
Photo by Martin Sanchez / Unsplash

I started writing a story to look at what data is telling us about the pandemic in India. I analysed publicly available data, information in local health bulletins, read government documents and interviewed district and state-level officials, and infectious disease experts to understand what coronavirus statistics actually reveal.

My conclusion: not much. My reporting suggests that the imperfect COVID-19 are numbers at best, offering an underestimate of the coronavirus’s spread, and at worst, forming the basis for misleading conclusions to support arbitrary policy decisions.

You can read my story in HuffPost India. It’s a long read, with analysis and micro case studies from states and districts, which I use to illustrate the larger problems with the numbers. I summarized key points in a Twitter thread.

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