Letters to the Editor — April 23, 2020

Case spike

Whatever be the mathematical model adopted, the stark reality of micro-demographics will be a key deciding factor (Page 1, “Huge spike in cases likely in Mumbai: Central panel”, April 22). Dharavi, for example, has been described by various sources as as a 2.1-2.6 sq.km zone with a population estimated at about 15 lakh. There are also an estimated 15,000-25,000 tiny industries. Thus if we set aside 15% of the area for “roads” and industries, the area per resident is about 1.5 sq. m at worst or an area of about 4.5ft x 4.5ft per resident. It is all very well to lay emphasis on social distancing, but where is the distance in such areas in Mumbai which cannot be wished away? The rich do not care as they can afford to observe many precautions and have ample facilities and opportunities to be safe. Whatever be the steps being taken by the government, the contagion will grow at a rapid rate in such specific areas and eclipse the number of cases in the rest of the State of Maharashtra.

D.M. Mohunta,


Testing kits

The data shared by the Indian Council of Medical Research is perhaps an indicator that asymptomatic infections are on the rise (Page 1, “ICMR asks States to stop using rapid tests for the next 2 days”, April 22). This makes epidemiological and surveillance exercises tougher in hotspots as such patients would be silently spreading the infection. Contact tracing would become extremely difficult and mapping containment zones would not be possible. Though guidelines have been laid down clearly by the ICMR on who should be tested, random testing in hotspots may be what is needed. The ICMR needs to revise its testing strategies.

Nagarajamani M.V.,


It was no surprise to read the report, especially after the Health Ministries in countries especially in Europe have called out the quality of kits, many being of Chinese-make. The complaints are that results are widely inaccurate. India must look at indigenous solutions and encourage Indian manufacturers to make kits with local components. Inaccurate tests giving false positives are more dangerous than the disease. This could lead to wrong treatment options.

H.N. Ramakrishna,


In the e-cart

In the decision about e-commerce companies and non-essential goods, it is essential to define what “essentials” are! In this, the customer is best accomplished to do this. Indeed, as the lockdown has been extended, conventional non-essential goods are turning into essentials (Editorial, “Non-essentials can wait,” April 22). Hand sanitisers and masks seem to be universally essential. But what about do-it -yourself hair cutting kits for men, given the uncertainty over the opening of salons? Or perhaps foot-friendly footwear and bicycles for those who had relied on public transport so far? Of course, the list may become endless and the imagination is the limit. So won’t it be better to limit the number of products and deliveries in a given period for a particular residential address? With some modifications in software, e-commerce giants should be able to implement these restrictions.

A. Venkatasubramanian,

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:49:29 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-april-23-2020/article31409781.ece

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