Arpit Gupta, Anup Malani and Reuben Abraham recommend that India must immediately begin conducting random community tests to get an accurate estimate of the spread of COVID-19. Excerpts:
"While we have estimates on the number of deaths, we are flying blind in estimating the denominator of the fatality rate. If, in fact, many people are walking around with COVID-19 and perhaps do not even know of their infection status — as some doctors suggest — we need to adopt a very different approach to address this crisis. "
On how this information will be critical to making well-informed decisions on how best to combat this disease:
"Measuring infections accurately will also allow for targeted efforts to combat the spread of the disease. Otherwise, we will not know how many hospital beds, ventilators and doctors we will need in different areas in the coming weeks. We cannot determine whether the lockdown has been effective, how long it should continue, or if certain places can safely be released from the lockdown without sparking an outbreak."
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