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How should India plan it's exit from Lockdown so as to contain the Coronavirus effectively.


In an extraordinary experiment, even by the standards of an extraordinary time, India is starting to emerge from a nationwide lockdown put in place in response to the global emergence of COVID-19 as an entirely new virus for humanity to contend with.But if India has to continue flattening the coronavirus curve post-lock down, the Narendra Modi government has to take hard decisions. The epidemic in each country won’t go on forever, it will burn itself out. Countries are doing the right thing to control the outbreak. If the lockdown is successful in India, you could see a decline in the epidemic around the end of Lockdown 4.0. 

From a strictly epidemiological viewpoint, the number of new Covid-19 cases and the number of deaths – which should be a lagging indicator – have been rising more slowly over the past couple of weeks than during the period before. Perhaps, more importantly, the lockdown has resulted in a major mobilisation of government machinery, and so the infrastructure and tools to deal with this challenge have been upgraded significantly. This includes the Aarogya Setu app, which has the capacity to help contain a much larger epidemic. By the health ministry, a suggestion of a 10-week lockdown is considered, India would open up only in the first week of June.

However, China is not the only country which has reopened after successfully containing the virus. South Korea was able to flatten the curve only by mass testing and quarantining suspected cases without any lockdown. Singapore too did it initially, but the country faced a second wave of infections and has since then imposed a partial lockdown for four weeks. Germany has also eased restrictions after a month of confining its citizens. Similarly India will be able to contain the Coronavirus after lifting the lockdown. But this process will require maintenance of social distancing and mass testing of suspected cases should be done with extreme care around the country.

So whether or not India can control spreading of virus post lockdown will depend on recovery rates, reduction in rising cases and other factors.

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