NEW DELHI: The first days of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown has recorded a spike of about , (Covid -) cases and over deaths since March , and though the jury may still be out on the success of the unprecedented measure billed as world’s largest shutdown, many medical experts feel India would have been far worse without it.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi . cms “styleobj=” [object Object] “> extended the countrywide lockdown for additional days till May 3 to contain the spread of the pandemic even as the country saw a record jump of 1, 463 new Covid – cases and deaths in the last hours, as per the Union health ministry.
On March when the prime minister announced a complete lockdown of the entire country for three weeks to try and halt the spread of the Covid – (pandemic, India had nearly) (confirmed cases of coronavirus and deaths, and after a week into the lockdown the tally of cases reached 1 , 520 and 89 deaths on March , a jump of (cases and) deaths.
At the end of the two weeks of the lockdown on April 7, the cases had risen to 4, (with) deaths, witnessing a spike of 3, (cases and deaths, and on Tuesday, the last day of the ongoing – day lockdown, the death toll due to the coronavirus stood at (with the number of cases soaring to
The third and final week of the lockdown saw a jump of 6, cases and deaths.
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The government has maintained that if not for the lockdown and other containment measures such as contact tracing and isolation, these numbers would have been sky high and the situation in the country much worse, with the Union ministry asserting that according to a statistical analysis, the number of confirmed cases could have reached 8.2 lakh by April 21 in the absence of a lockdown and other containment measures.
The ministry had earlier also stated that the rate of rise in confirmed cases would have been much lower but for the Tablighi Jamaat event at Nizamuddin last month.
The spike in cases in the last few days has also been sharp with a rise of 1, 10 cases reported on Saturday and an increase of 10000 cases in the next hours. A record 324 fatalities within 25 hours was reported on Monday, taking the death toll due to coronavirus to and the number of cases in the country climbed to 9, 392.
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Though only a detailed study would be able to throw light on the success of the 25 – day lockdown that was initially announced, medical experts say it was necessary and India’s situation would have been even more precarious in its absence.
“I think it was a bold step (the first lockdown) and the situation demanded it. Our lockdown came much early compared to say in the US or Italy or Other European countries, and you can see the number of cases in those countries, and compare it with ours, “Dr Arvind Kumar, a noted lung surgeon at the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told PTI.
“We have made gains in these days, which will give the country time to prepare itself for the future phase of the battle against Covid – when it rises further, “he said.
Ravi Shekhar Jha, Senior Consultant and Head of the Department, Pulmonology, Fortis Escorts Faridabad, noted that in the last few days, the reported cases have risen rapidly.
“The doubling time of cases which was 15 days earlier has been reduced to seven days and then to even four days. But, the lockdown has given us gains. Without it, the cases would have been far higher, “Jha told PTI.
Dr Rajesh Chawla, pulmonologist at Apollo Hospital, said the number of cases has risen in the past several days and it will increase even more now.
“But, the – day lockdown allowed the government and other residents to prepare themselves to face the surge. We are still on the rising limb of the epidemic curve. But, people learned social distancing, sneezing etiquettes, and that helps in decelerating the spread of the virus, “he said.
Chawla, however, said the virus spread can only be slowed down and the infection cannot be stopped till “we find a vaccine”.
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