Lockdown- India’s preparedness for coronavirus


India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared lockdown all over the country. Keeping 1.3 billion
Indians inside their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus – a Pandemic in the country is not easy. As soon
as the first case of the coronavirus arrived India restricted flights and started screenings at all its
major airports. As millions of people live here and lots of flights every day so the chances of getting
infected is huge. So, the government’s decision to lock down was necessary to prevent the spread of
the disease across the country.

Coronavirus- a pandemic

Coronavirus- a pandemic

The evidence from other countries, show that the consequences of a catastrophic situation is
dangerous as coronavirus spread is uncontrollable. People with uncontrolled hypertension and
diabetes are mostly affected with severe covid-19 and possibly die from it. In India nearly a third of
its population is hypertensive and one in every 10 adults is diabetic so the danger on India is gigantic.

Coronavirus- a pandemic | How lockdown is a preventive measure?

An estimation shows that around 300 million to 500 million will get affected by coronavirus. Most
people will have mild symptoms but around cases of 50 million people will be severe. Many of the
severe patients will need intensive care and country is not that equipped with so many facilities. So,
that will increase the proportion of death of the patients. Later even the patients will mild symptoms
will not get proper care and the case will become severe. In such a situation lockdown is the only
preventive measure that will control the spread of the disease.

The Indian Council for Medical Research shows that a national lockdown, if followed then that will
reduce the number of infections at the peak of the pandemic. Further, the number of depend on
depending on the degree of compliance with physical distancing. Still there is an estimation that
about a million people would still need hospital beds and critical care due to the infection. If India
would not impose the lockdown then the number would easily go up to five million to six million
people.

Benefits of lockdown

These are some of the implications or benefits that lockdown will bring for the people and
government of India:

• Due to the lockdown, now there are four to six weeks before the coronavirus outbreak hits
its peak. This is a great opportunity for the system to create an enormous, affordable and easily
available measures to control the pandemic.

• New testing infrastructure can be built in this time which will intensify efforts to identify the
sick and thereafter trace their contacts and isolate them and prepare for handling the situation.

• Besides that, Hygienic quarantine facilities can be set up and intensive-care beds will be
brought in the hospitals to serve at least the severely affected people.

• If India fails to fill these serious gaps in its capacity, the pandemic will take away many lives.
The other essential fact is that Indians still lack immunity to the coronavirus. So, the lockdown will
save millions of lives as they will get prevented from getting infected.

• Government will get time to put in efforts to ensure that the pandemic does not generate a
secondary hunger and poverty crisis among poor people. Many Indians earn daily wages and have no
meaningful savings so in the situation of lockdown they may die of hunger first and disease later.

What steps India has already taken?

The finance ministry has announced a support package of $20.6 billion to the people who are poor.
People will get benefits in numerous forms which includes direct cash payments, free cooking gas,
and food grains. Indian government has excess food stocks that can be used now to expand the
public distribution system. People have already started using digital payments where each adult has
a bank account and thus, they can get direct transfers on their bank accounts.

Hence, India is on a test. Its health care system including health workers, doctors, public health
professionals and hospitals will get tested. Not only health care providers but other sectors of the
system will also have to pass the time. But everything eventually depends on the rest of population
who will remain in lockdown. Only when they follow the orders, they will be able to save themselves
as well as the country altogether. Because only by preventing the spread of coronavirus will help
India will deal with Coronavirus- a pandemic.