Hours after releasing a graphic that projected ‘risk of community transmission’ at a stunning 122% for Telangana, the makers of the infograph issued a clarification about the data. The graphic went viral, triggering fear and anxiety in the city as well as the State. Delhi’s community transmission was projected at an even higher 143%.
The clarification issued by India in Pixels, the makers of the graphic, stated: “The formula is only a rough metric comparing quarantined to positive cases, it is not a prediction. The data is based on Aarogya Setu app which is self-reported and it assumes the figures to be correct.” The formula factored non-quarantined people as spreaders of the disease. The app data accessed on Tuesday by this reporter showed 7,802 confirmed cases and 2,933 people under quarantine in the State. There were 46,573 people in quarantine and 0,444 households in containment zones, according to State data.
“The authenticity of the formula and data are both questionable. There is no such formula to our knowledge to assess the risk of community transmission,” read a statement issued by the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare. An ICMR-conducted sero-surveillance in the State in May and concluded the prevalence is 0.3% in rural areas and 3% in GHMC area, and declared that there is no community transmission.
In another statement, the State government dismissed the map as ‘plain mischief’. “The person who designed it himself says it is a not a prediction of ‘severity’ and does not make any claim about ‘spread’. Hence this is complete misinterpretation of data and not a true reflection of the situation on ground,” said Dileep Konatham, Director, Digital Media, Telangana in a social media post.
In the clarification, the infograph makers say: “If there is any takeaway here, it should be that Telangana and Delhi need to increase the number of quarantined people compared to other States like Kerala and Odisha.”