The Covid 19 situation in India holds forth tremendous challenges for the Indian public healthcare system. The current situation is unprecedented. The Covid 19 s high infectivity rate coupled with a high case fatality rate have created a situation where India could see between 2 and 25 lakh deaths over the next 12 to 18 months. The final number of fatalities will depend a great deal on several factors of which surveillance is a critical one. Surveillance will determine the extent to which the government is able to mount a data driven response. Surveillance will help in identifying hot spots and clusters. This in turn will help in mounting targeted responses. In the words of the WHO director general: "Test, test, test. A fire cannot be fought blindfolded." India s response has not been satisfactory. This paper discusses the need for a stronger surveillance system and a higher testing rate. If the avalanche of Covid 19 cases requiring hospitalisation comes, the current infrastructure and manpower will be grossly inadequate for it. If India is able to set up a robust and comprehensive surveillance system across urban-rural divides, that might well be a game changer in the covid 19 battle. Failure could mean lakhs more die.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science