India’s trajectory in COVID-19 cases is following the United States and likely to similarly reach a plateau rather than peak soon, one of China’s top infectious disease experts has said.
Since there were already signs of some community transmission in India, it was more likely to follow the trend of the U.S. and Europe rather than limit cases to a low number, said Zhang Wenhong, a leading figure in China’s COVID-19 strategy, who is also director of Huashan Hospital s Department of Infectious Disease in Shanghai.
“I think the overall situation in India may be similar to that of the U.S,” he said. “The measures of each state in the U.S. are different. Some states are strict and some have resumed work. India has to consider how the economy functions and how the epidemic can be controlled, so it does not pay a high price for epidemic prevention.”
He said in this view, India’s approach to adopt a long-term strategy made sense, including its approach to testing. While India’s approach in tackling COVID-19 has been different from China’s sweeping lockdowns and mass quarantines, India’s strategy was understandable for its national conditions. “Every country should find a way that suits them according to their situation,” he said.
He suggested China’s “100%” lockdown, or Australia’s approach of locking down until very low numbers of new cases were reached, was unlikely to be replicated in other countries, and added that he did not necessarily advocate a one-size-fits-all approach.
“I personally feel that India does not need to adopt such a strategy,” he said. “I think their government would probably follow the U.S. strategy”.