US-based varsity junks report on high COVID-19 casualties in India

Bhubaneswar: Amidst growing number of deaths due to COVID-19 across the world, the US-based Johns Hopkins University has come up with a clarification after a study on India’s possible grave situation went viral on social media last week.

The study titled ‘COVID-19 for India Updates’, co-authored by faculty of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health predicted that India may witness 12.5 crore to 24 crore people infected by COVID-19 in upcoming days.

However, the university on Friday dissociated itself from the research clarifying that the study was done by one of its faculties and the use of its logo in the study was not authorised.

The use of strong scientific modeling was based on available data and clear assumptions to help inform the COVID -19 response in India. However, the study does not reflect the views of the University, Johns Hopkins University said in its clarification.

The study published on the website of Center For Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), had logos of the US-based research organisation as well as the and Johns Hopkins University. The research was authored by Eili Klein, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Gary Lin, Post Doctoral Fellow of the same department, Ramanan Laxminarayan, CDDEP, Senior Associate, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Senior Research Scholar, Princeton University and authors from CDDEP.

Meanwhile, the CDDEP has also confirmed that the study was co-authored by faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and conducted at Princeton University.

The study had predicted about the impact of COVID-19 in India and ineffectiveness of the nationwide lockdown.

“A national lockdown is not productive and could cause serious economic damage, increase hunger and reduce the population resilience for handling the infection peak. Some states may see transmission increase only after another 2 weeks and lockdowns should be optimized for when they could maximize the effect on the epidemic but minimize economic damage,” the study had said.

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