Topic: General Studies 2:
- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors
- Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
COVID-19: Critical Analysis on lockdown
India’s present lockdown (to prevent the spread of COVID-19) has been rated as the severest and the most disruptive, impacting a seventh of the world’s population.
The Central government stated that in absence of lockdown, there would have been 800,000 infections by April 15th, 2020
Do You Know?
- Sweden’s strategy to fight the pandemic has been largely non-interventionist and instead dependent on voluntary social distancing.
- Korea has followed a strategy of aggressive, widespread diagnostic testing and isolation coupled with social distancing.
Criticisms on Lockdown
- Lives vs Livelihoods: Extended lockdown negatively impacts the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable sections of society -cure should not be worse than disease
- Criticality of timing of lockdown:
- Early lockdowns are known to be suboptimal because they merely postpone the peak, but do not reduce the numbers
- Many countries have imposed lockdowns only when infections peaked to levels that threatened the capacity of their healthcare systems
- Effect on Tropical Countries:
- There is also fair likelihood to suspect that tropical country like India may be experiencing a less virulent epidemic than seen in the west
- This can be either due to higher natural immunity, or vastly different demographics.
- In such case, all-out lockdown was not an efficient solution
- Efficient use of intervening time
- Failure to train personnel as well as procure the requisite devices, supplies and protective equipment during the lockdown will yield sub-optimal results
- Alternative Strategy- Herd Immunity
- It is believed that viral epidemics abate only when around 60-80% of the population acquires “herd-immunity” — either by vaccination or by acquiring the disease.
- Projection Models:
- Several leading global health experts have questioned the numbers projected in the initial studies and forecasts as being inordinately high.
In place of a one-size-fits-all lockdown, there can be graded containment strategies that can be based upon following factors:
- Geographic– depending on the varying locational intensity of the disease
- Vulnerability-oriented, with differing containment strategies for more vulnerable sections like the aged; and
- Sectoral -with a more liberal containment regime in place for essential activities like agriculture
Connecting the dots:
- Challenges of using Herd Immunity as a Strategy
- Challenges with regard to calibrated exit to lockdown
Source: Indian Express
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