There are close to 30,000 coronavirus infections in India – second only to China in Asia – but the country has recorded just 934 deaths, nearly two months after its first recorded case.
It’s a small number compared with the United States and parts of Western Europe where tens of thousands have died.
Some experts say India’s strict lockdown measures are the reason why death rates are so low.
While others claim the country’s young population is helping to keep fatalities low.
Another suggestion – which is not supported by medical evidence – is India’s hot weather, which could be helping to contain the spread.
“It’s a mystery, I’d say and part of the mystery is we are not doing enough testing,” Indian-American physician and oncologist Siddhartha Mukherjee said, reports the BBC.
“If we tested more then we’d know the answer.”
India’s official nationwide lockdown is expected to end on May 3 after coming into effect on March 25.
Just weeks earlier, on March 6, India’s Ministry of Health advised all states to avoid mass gatherings.
But Tablighi Jamaat, a religious group which encourages Muslims to return to practicing the religion as the Prophet Muhammad did, met in New Delhi during March 13 and 15 leading to an outbreak of 4291 cases of COVID-19.
The event was held at the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque — the group’s global headquarters — in central Delhi and as of April 20, the number of coronavirus infections stemming from the gathering amounted to nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 cases reported so far in India.
There is also the possibility India has underreported its cases of coronavirus deaths, whether unknowingly or not.
Close to 80 per cent of deaths occur in the home, reports the BBC, which could account for a low number of recorded COVID-19 deaths in hospitals.
While some doctors have reported that many people were dying of coronavirus symptoms without getting tested, the publication claims.
Professor Jean-Louis Vincent, from Belgium’s Erasme University Hospital, told the BBC underreporting of COVID-19 deaths was happening “in many countries, including India”.
“When you are told the person had some fever and some respiratory problems before death, you may suspect Covid-19. But it may be something else,” he said.
“Death is often preceded by an infection, sometimes minor. If you do not test, you may attribute many deaths to Covid-19 or deny its role altogether.”
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