Rukmini S Profile picture
15 Sep, 3 tweets, 2 min read
Two simple things that every Latin American country does with its covid data that Indian govts - city, state and centre - just can't seem to get right:
1. Provide a "download data" option for charts and tables
2. Maintain an archive. The @MoHFW_INDIA website is of course the worst at this - appalling that we don't have national covid data over time from the govt.

But others do this for no reason too.
The @mybmc dashboard is now the envy of people covering other cities. as it should be stopcoronavirus.mcgm.gov.in/key-updates-tr…

But each day the data disappears when it is updated. WHY? Put it in Excel sheets and maintain an archive and I will personally post pedhas to the entire commissionerate.

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More from @Rukmini

31 Aug
There should never have been a contempt of court case against Prashant Bhushan, a great defender of our democracy, and his conviction is a travesty. But this Re 1 fine and the joking around it rankles. In 2011 I stood in a Saket court to watch a 19-year old boy's trial. (thread)
He had been picked on charges of stealing a wallet containing Rs 200. For one entire year he remained in Tihar after being granted bail because he did not have the money for a bail bond. His final escape? Conviction. Because the jail term was 3 months.
Accused of stealing a wallet containing Rs 200 (he strenuously denied having done it to me), bail bond set at Rs 10,000. He had nothing. Offence - 3 months, time taken for conviction 1+ year. That one year broke him (and introduced him to drugs).
Read 5 tweets
22 Aug
For @livemint, I looked at recent population projections for Indian states for the next 15 years, and I was struck by the generational divide that is coming up between India's north and south. Short thread follows:
Fifteen years from now, the median Tamil person will be over 40 while the median Bihari will be not yet 30. That's a considerable age gap, and it has widened further.
I've written earlier about how fertility is declining all over the country, but Bihar isn't doing very well in pushing this decline, that is a product of rising incomes, and better access to health and education for women, forward livemint.com/news/india/as-…
Read 5 tweets
12 Aug
Bhutan went into national lockdown yesterday following one young woman testing positive. Short thread on how a woman who followed all the rules still triggered a national crisis, and how the country is containing it.
The 27-year-old woman returned from Kuwait on June 26 and was placed in mandatory institutional quarantine. She was in quarantine for one month (!) over which time she repeatedly tested negative on RT-PCR tests but positive on antibody tests. On July 26 she was released.
In all, she tested negative five times on RT-PCR tests (!) but repeatedly showed presence of antibodies.
Read 5 tweets
9 Jul
Here's a new problem for India's testing data: states like Delhi are conducting both RT-PCR tests and antigen tests, but reporting positive test numbers combined. Antigen tests have much more false negatives, so start taking falling test positivity rates with a big lump of salt.
I wrote about it here for @IndiaToday: indiatoday.in/diu/story/why-…
From July 3-6, Delhi conducted more antigen tests than RT-PCR tests, so that immediately makes its falling test positivity rate very difficult to celebrate.
Read 8 tweets
21 May
Little thread: For work, I've been looking up other countries' coronavirus dashboards, and one thing struck me about Brazil's (aside from the fact rhta it's very good).
Look at that second tab. SRAG is "síndrome respiratória aguda grave" - or as we know it in India, SARI or Severe Acute Respiratory Illness Image
Brazil maintains updated and detailed SARI data that it puts out alongside COVID data ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
24 Apr
(Thread) I looked at data from 627 districts and over 1.5 lakh health facilities for the last few months and years, and what I found was very worrying. Medical services declined across the board in March 2020.
This includes immunisations - 2 lakh children fewer got the pentavalent vaccine, over 1 lakh fewer kids got their BCG vaccine. It also includes a host of maternal services.
There was a huge fall in inpatient services for infectious diseases, but interpreting this as a fall in illness alone would be inaccurate. This is because there was a huge fall in outpatient treatment of all NCDs, including cancer.
Read 8 tweets

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