COVID19: Did India Err by Early Lockdown?
| Dr Parvez Hayat, IPS, Former ADGP, BPR&D, MHA, Delhi - 30 May 2020

Now India and the world have to live with the corona virus till a vaccine is found or Herd Immunity is developed. In India by sheer miscalculations seem to err by instituting total lockdown suddenly with the results huge number of migrants and laid off daily wage earners got stuck up and suffered, it created additional burden both financial and administrative on states to arrange for shelters, food and water.

 

By Dr Parvez Hayat, IPS, former DGP, A Doctorate in Disaster Management
 

New Delhi, May 30, 2020: India has demographic advantages, age is on its side, median age is 29 years, second largest youth in the world after China . Therefore, mortality rate in India has to be fairly less and also the  recovery rate that too so far is over 46% one of the best in the world, despite relatively weaker medical Infrastructure vis a vis  advanced world. 

Europe has largest ageing population and, therefore, the death rate was fairly high since median age of European countries such as Italy, France, Spain, Germany and U.K, range between 41.2-44 years, only one exception in case of Germany why so?

Because, Germany tested the highest, tested both asymptomatic and symptomatic both as high as 150, 000/ week, and secondly, Germany treated them early, not letting patients entering third stage where patients require ventilators from there approximately 96.6% patients don’t come out alive, Germany mostly cured people in second stage when patients may require little help of oxygen, mostly patients recovered at second stage itself.

Another  notable facts as per Johns Hopkins University researches, it has been found that, high mask wearing countries did better than low mask wearing countries such as USA, Italy, Spain, UK, France whereas high mask wearing countries such as Japan, Czech Republic and Slovakia, Israel and Taiwan.

Czech Republic, believed in ‘you protect me, I protect you’ and home to home masks were being produced as movement and distributed.

India  instituted lockdown by enforcing curfew, barricades were put up to ensure people don’t move out of their home without any urgent reasons, it helped preventing community spread, unlike UK, USA there are rights issue, educated people themselves followed lockdown, no police could interfere, even Israel police enforced kind of curfew like lockdown, it helped as it helped in India.

Sweden was one country which believed in ‘Herd Immunity ‘allowing infections to spread in population other than elderly and kids asked to stay home, didn’t institute lockdown, later on seeing cases spiking Sweden too instituted lockdown.

India relatively tested low initially but later it did improve its testing figures. Of course, as per ICMR guidelines, India tested those who are symptomatic and patients with very minor symptoms were gone quarantined. It worked well since it prevented medical capacities not overwhelmed.

Now India and the world have to live with the corona virus till a vaccine is found or Herd Immunity is developed. In India by sheer miscalculations seem to err by instituting total lockdown suddenly with the results huge number of migrants and laid off daily wage earners got stuck up and suffered, it created additional burden both financial and administrative on states to arrange for shelters, food and water.

Thankfully, government of India in consultations with states making arrangement to send these millions of migrants back home by running special trains, also stuck up students, tourists, pilgrims too have been sent back home since it is a very unusual behaviour of novel corona virus, therefore, it trumped all calculations globally.

India for the first time facing a situation where whole country got affected, it affected both agricultural and non agricultural sectors, where each months GDP is getting affected unlike previous localised disasters affecting only state or a few states for a shorter period , now curbs are easing down , economic activities have too started in phases  with government intensives and package of stimulus.

Gradually, economic situations will stabilise once positive cases reached to its peak and fresh hospital admissions  start lowering down, death rates which is already appreciably low, begin to come down with curves fastening down. Indian economy which is resilient shall improve at faster speed.

But the COVID19 has definitely brought change in lifestyle, market places and offices. Public spaces shall need to be redesigned, less travel, less physical meeting, more work from home, social distancing, wearing masks, medical hygiene etc. shall continue for quite some time and surely India has to hugely invest in improving medical infrastructure at top down level in future to meet any such challenges successfully. 

(Dr Parvez Hayat, IPS, former DGP, A Doctorate in Disaster Management)

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COVID 19 - A Global Perspective, Need for Robust Medical Infrastructure

By Dr Parvez Hayat, IPS, former DGP, A Doctorate in Disaster Management -https://bit.ly/2Y3mvK8

Representational File Image Courtesy - TV9 BharatVarsh / India TV / Tribune India

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Indian Observer Post and Indian Observer Post does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


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