Current AffairsIndia

India ranked low for handling of Covid data

New Delhi: Independent research group TotalAnalysis has ranked India at 73rd position out of 100 countries in the Covid Data Transparency Index (CDTI).

Scoring just 33 per cent overall – an effective 1-star rating – it falls significantly below the 70 per cent level that TotalAnalysis argues all countries should attain ten months into the pandemic.

Index ranks countries on a variety of Covid indicators, grouped into four key pillars – data transparency, coverage, usage and management. According to a press statement here, the research team at London-based TotalAnalysis has been monitoring and extracting official Covid data from over 200 countries and their local regions on a daily basis since the outbreak of the pandemic.

For a country ranked 6th in the world in terms of GDP, India also occupies a lowly 19th position in the Asia Pacific league table of 24 countries, trailing much smaller countries, such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Kazakhstan.

Mike Laflin, Director of Research, Total Analysis, said: “India has major issues in the areas of data coverage and data usage – both of which score a disturbingly low 16 per cent. While India’s data management merits a creditable 68 per cent, the government is delivering very weak data coverage and scores very poorly on accessibility and user-friendliness.”

Data transparencyIndia scores just 33 per cent for data transparency – below Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. TotalAnalysis analysts noted that cumulative case data was abruptly removed in August, leaving just active cases for the day versus cumulative recoveries and deaths. These numbers cannot be usefully compared to one another, while case fatality rates cannot be calculated

Only four countries (Belgium, Norway, USA and Chile) have scored above 70 per cent on the world index, while at the other end of the scale sit North Korea and Turkmenistan in joint 99th position with a zero score, both countries being in “total Covid-denial” with not a single infection reported.

Notable countries scoring less than 50 per cent and judged to be delivering unreliable Covid data include Brazil in 48th place, Russia in 57th and Turkey in 97th, while China sits four off the bottom in 96th place.

Credibility

Richard Londesborough, Co-Founder, TotalAnalysis, said: “Data credibility is critical. Low levels of public trust in government data have resulted in compliance issues, not just for India but across the world. With major gaps in the data, including reliable testing data across the provinces, the Indian government needs a systematic and comprehensive approach to its Covid data, especially with critical vaccination data approaching in 2021.”

Based in London, TotalAnalysis is an independent information resource for data on the Coronavirus pandemic.

With over 400,000 data points researched from more than 350 public sources, TotalAnalysis systematically updates and analyses Covid-19 data every day on over 200 nations and 2,200 local regions throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East. TotalAnalysis was launched in April 2020 and is entirely independent of any government, institution or pressure group.

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