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India’s One Month Of Lockdown: Experts Feel It Helped In Preventing ‘US Or Europe-Like’ Situation But Say Bigger Challenge Awaits

Though, the number of infections kept on rising through the period of the lockdown, experts believe it is not “alarming” and the situation seems to be under control in India as compared to the US and several other western nations where cases have skyrocketed and the death toll is mounting

India's One Month Of Lockdown: Experts Feel It Helped In Preventing 'US Or Europe-Like' Situation But Say Bigger Challenge Awaits
Highlights
  • The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25
  • It gave a buffer time to public prepare health services: Experts
  • The total number of coronavirus cases in India has crossed the 23,000 mark

New Delhi: As India completes a month under lockdown that brought the world’s most populous democracy to a virtual standstill, with no or very minimal social and economic activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, several medical experts feel that these restrictions were crucial in preventing a “US or Europe-like” situation from materialising in the country. However, most of the experts also cautioned that a “bigger challenge” awaits the country when it gradually move towards exiting the nationwide lockdown, which has emerged as one of India’s biggest weapons so far in the battle against COVID-19.

Also Read: Fighting COVID-19: What It Is Like To Live In A Coronavirus ‘Hotspot’

India’s first case was reported on January 30, and 54 days later on March 25, with 519 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 11 deaths, the country was put under a 21-day complete lockdown, hence starting the country’s full-blown battle against the pandemic.

At the end of the lockdown, the total number of coronavirus cases has crossed the 23,000 mark and there are 718 deaths due to COVID-19 in the country. Globally, the total number of cases of infections are over 27.3 lakh and more than1.91 lakh people have died due to the virus with the US and the UK along with some other European countries among the worst affected nations.

After a three week period that ended on April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the countrywide lockdown for 19 additional days till May 3 to contain the spread of the pandemic. Though, the number of infections kept on rising through the period of the lockdown, experts believe it is not “alarming” and the situation seems to be under control in India as compared to the US and several other western nations where cases have skyrocketed and the death toll is mounting.

Also Read: Able To Cut Transmission, Minimise Spread Of COVID-19 In Last 30 Days: Government

After a week into the lockdown, the tally of cases reached 1,397 and 35 deaths on March 31, a jump of 878 cases and 24 deaths, while at the end of two weeks of the lockdown on April 7, the cases had risen to 4,789 with 124 deaths, witnessing a spike of 3,392 cases and 89 deaths.

On the last day of the 21-day first phase lockdown, the death toll due to the coronavirus stood at 353 with the number of cases soaring to 10,815.The third week of the lockdown saw a jump of 6,026 cases and 229 deaths. The next 10 days saw a spike of 365 deaths and 12,262 cases. As per the Union health ministry Friday update, the death toll due to COVID-19 is 718 and the number of cases 23,077. Though only a detailed study would be able to throw light on the success of the lockdown, medical experts feel it was necessary and India’s situation would have been even more precarious in its absence.

Dr Arvind Kumar, a noted lung surgeon at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said the month-long lockdown has been “immensely beneficial” for India and prevented a “US or Europe-like” situation from materialising in the country. “More importantly, it has given us a golden 30 days time to prepare our health services and other support services to face the onslaught (of the virus) even if it was to come in the ensuing days,” he told PTI. Dr. Kumar also said that as a healthcare worker he would like to see a decision on extension of the lockdown around April 30 or May 1 after assessing the situation at the time. He said,

Lifting of lockdown should be very gradual. Some facilities should remain closed through the month of May like schools, colleges, malls, cinema halls, religious places and markets. Certain sectors feeling the pinch should open but only in green zones, while red and orange zones should continue in lockdown.

Also Read: Experts Hint At A Rise In Mental Illness Due To COVID-19, Suggest Inculcating Positive Thoughts

Ravi Shekhar Jha, Senior Consultant and Head of the Department, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Faridabad, also hailed the government’s decision to impose the lockdown in containing the virus, saying it was “timely”. He, however, asserted that the lifting of lockdown will be “the real challenge”, and advocated its phased lifting after identification of hotspots and allowing only essential services there.

The exit from the lockdown has to be based on a very analytical approach, giving priority to scientific rather than economic considerations, he told PTI. Dr Rommel Tickoo, Associate Director, Internal Medicine, Max healthcare, said the lockdown has been quite beneficial for India when compared to the situation in the US and Europe. He told PTI,

Ours was quite timely. We have over 20,000 cases, so if you compare it with the US and Europe, definitely we are in a much better condition. Mortality rate is also lower in India at round 3 per cent.

Asked if a bigger challenge awaits India in lifting the lockdown, Dr. Tickoo said restrictions should be lifted in a phased manner. He also suggested that India can take a leaf out of countries like Sweden and put restrictions on elderly and those with comorbid conditions for 2-3 months as they seem to be more vulnerable to the virus.

The lockdown period has not just been about numbers but also about the dogged resolve of a nation to overcome a crisis, about sacrifices and the fearless service of COVID-19 warriors such as healthcare workers, police personnel and sanitation workers.

Also Read: Coronavirus Will Be With Us For A Long Time: World Health Organisation

The period of 31 days of lockdown has also had its share of hiccups with social distancing guidelines going for a toss on certain occasions — from thousands of migrant workers thronging Anand Vihar bus terminus on the Delhi-UP border in the earlier stages of the shutdown to a crowd of migrant labourers gathering in suburban Bandra earlier this month.

The government has maintained that if not for the lockdown and other containment measures such as contact tracing and isolation, the numbers of coronavirus cases would have been sky-high. The health ministry has also maintained that the rate of rise in confirmed cases would have been much lower, but for the Tablighi Jamaat event at Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month.

While on the one hand, heart-wrenching stories of migrant laborers walking hundreds of miles to reach home emerged, at the other, inspiring incidents of healthcare workers fearlessly fighting the pandemic came to the fore during the one month of lockdown. But, one dominant theme that seemed to dwarf everything else, is a determination of a nation to fight the seemingly long battle against COVID-19 to emerge victorious.

Also Read: Coronavirus Lockdown: As People Stay Home, Earth Turns Wilder And Cleaner

World

26,58,63,058Cases
22,65,37,591Active
3,40,69,608Recovered
52,55,859Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 196 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 26,58,63,058 and 52,55,859 have died; 22,65,37,591 are active cases and 3,40,69,608 have recovered as on December 6, 2021 at 5:12 am.

India

3,46,41,561 8,306Cases
98,416739Active
3,40,69,608 8,834Recovered
4,73,537 211Deaths
In India, there are 3,46,41,561 confirmed cases including 4,73,537 deaths. The number of active cases is 98,416 and 3,40,69,608 have recovered as on December 6, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,38,778 707

10,826 23

64,86,782 677

1,41,170 7

Kerala

51,65,921 4,450

44,110 317

50,80,211 4,606

41,600 161

Karnataka

29,98,099 456

7,161 120

29,52,708 330

38,230 6

Tamil Nadu

27,30,516 724

8,041 29

26,85,946 743

36,529 10

Andhra Pradesh

20,73,730 154

2,122 27

20,57,156 177

14,452 4

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,475 24

134 18

16,87,430 6

22,911

West Bengal

16,19,257 620

7,639 17

15,92,074 627

19,544 10

Delhi

14,41,358 63

370 48

14,15,890 15

25,098

Odisha

10,50,249 189

2,154 25

10,39,673 212

8,422 2

Chhattisgarh

10,06,967 25

330 4

9,93,044 21

13,593

Rajasthan

9,54,891 17

221 8

9,45,715 9

8,955

Gujarat

8,27,707 48

349 23

8,17,263 24

10,095 1

Madhya Pradesh

7,93,241 9

133 9

7,82,580 18

10,528

Haryana

7,71,819 22

185 5

7,61,580 17

10,054

Bihar

7,26,237 6

26 4

7,14,121 2

12,090

Telangana

6,76,943 156

3,787 8

6,69,157 147

3,999 1

Assam

6,17,576 101

2,490 61

6,08,966 158

6,120 4

Punjab

6,03,488 37

361 14

5,86,519 23

16,608

Jharkhand

3,49,342 25

127 12

3,44,074 13

5,141

Uttarakhand

3,44,353 8

174 1

3,36,768 7

7,411

Jammu And Kashmir

3,37,807 161

1,706 25

3,31,620 184

4,481 2

Himachal Pradesh

2,27,518 35

755 45

2,22,911 80

3,852

Goa

1,79,174 49

412 18

1,75,375 31

3,387

Mizoram

1,36,454 92

3,101 454

1,32,846 544

507 2

Puducherry

1,29,085 29

280 14

1,26,930 43

1,875

Manipur

1,25,360 32

353 9

1,23,025 40

1,982 1

Tripura

84,858 5

90 1

83,943 6

825

Meghalaya

84,583 9

244 2

82,864 11

1,475

Chandigarh

65,488 7

58 2

64,610 9

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,293 5

36 4

54,977 1

280

Sikkim

32,369 10

215 2

31,749 8

405

Nagaland

32,136

117 9

31,320 9

699

Ladakh

21,714 31

295 3

21,204 34

215

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,683

0 0

10,679

4

Lakshadweep

10,404

10 0

10,343

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,688

4 2

7,555 2

129

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