Lift the Lockdown only with a Sound Strategy - Editorial

India's Lockdown 

It is good to ascertain India setting up early measures, albeit there's no denying that we should always have considered the hardship and tough times caused to poor daily wage workers and migrant labour class, and taken preventive measures to avoid them.

Lift the Lockdown only with a Sound Strategy

But these before-time actions or stitch in times need to be carefully administered and managed if we don't want the virus outbreak to be overlooked by an economic disintegration. 

We have to carefully handpick the lessons from countries that have successfully controlled the epidemic with refined and modulated action. Once the lockdown is over, it's crucial, to set the course of action to unwind the all-India lockdown during a measured way and have more targeted lockdowns.

With only a few days to go for the 21-days Lockdown to End 

  1. Similar to other countries fighting the torment of COVID-19, India faces the discouraging question of when and the way the present lockdown is best lifted and regularise the everyday life. 
  2. Neither can the CORONA virus be allowed a free run across the Indian region, nor can the economic activities and related dependencies be kept locked beyond some extent; need to find some viable or workable solution. 
  3. The rapid widespread of COVID-19 disease has proceeded in countries to announce “lockdowns” to prevent or reduce the pace of the massive uncontrollable spread of the disease. The strategy of the nationwide lockdown or shutdown isn't the same in every country, though.
  4. India implemented and practised a short-lived nationwide lockdown, with only limited access “essential commodities/services”. 
  5. This was in response and supported the suggestions and recommendation of India’s medical establishment, which believed that complete lockdown with zero mobility is the only simplest or only possible way to “flatten the curve” of COVID-19 transmission, as long as we are a comparatively developing country with a large population and very limited expenditure on health infrastructure compared to developed nations.
  6. Plans seem happening to shift from an all-India shutdown to a strategic plan of “combative containment or isolation” of COVID-19 pathogens within a certain number of clusters pointed out on the nation’s map, with least allowable movement or mobility of people in these areas, civilians in these areas are kept under strict containment (and possible buffer zones around these containment areas).
  7. Sixty-Four districts in India are reported and believed to account for over four-fifths of officially recorded COVID-19 cases, then such implementation of “combative containment” definitely seems to make sense.
  8. Yet, any hurried or speedy action or planning negligence could collapse the past measures and expose Indian crowd to worst and unimaginable havoc. Caution should guide and overlook and any release and relaxation of restrictions.

What after 21 Days of Lockdown 

Phased or Strategic Lockdown Exit 

Government officials suggested the not sudden and immediate but slow opening of the shutdown/lockdown. The strategy could necessitate opening some regions and enabling the epicentre or hotspot areas under some sanctions. Furthermore, since the senior citizens are more susceptible and vulnerable to the disease they'll need to stay under restrictions until further notice. 

Identify the COVID-19 Hotspot and Minimize the Spread: Prime minister Modi expressed his appreciation and acknowledgement to all the state governments for materialising the shutdown/lockdown and minimising the widespread. 

However, things remain unsettling and thus, the entire nation must work together on this. The states asked the PM for monetary packages and financial assistance and supply needed PPE testing kits. 

Furthermore, PM Modi also mentioned that each state must work on a priority basis and ensure minimum loss of life by accurately identifying the COVID-19 hotspots and containing the spread. 

Separate Hospitals for COVID-19: Furthermore, the PM Modi pinpointed the necessity for establishing separate hospitals to address the COVID-19 cases.  

Also, the centre highlighted the significance of the supply of ample medical products, raw material and required inputs for the manufacture of medicines and medical equipment within the states. 

Besides, the centre asked the state's establishment to device an alternative for APMC for acquiring food grains and proposed creating pooling groundwork for rural regions for the same. 

PM Modi asked the states to get welfare organizations into communication and align them to fight against the pandemic. In all, he highlighted on eventually relaxing the lockdown.

Moving from frequent Social to Selective Seclusion or Isolation 

  1. It is believed that selective seclusion or isolation, suggested would prove to be more effective backed by the supportive measures.
  2. These efforts accommodate or include, tracking through the mobile phone apps and rewarding or compensating employees for the risk undertaken by providing wage supports to a certain extent.
  3. Once a certain number of employees get back to their jobs, then an older group of employees can start work from home until everything about COVID-19 subsidise.
  4. As more and more countries are thinking to adopt this strategy, in co-operation with the task force practising it domestically, the impact on the economy and public health can be minimised.
  5. Hotspots areas may require more strict measures and rapid tests, although buffers zones can be used to take out random swabs of locality, to frequently check for the spread of the disease.
  6. Policies and measures to practice a high level of Hygiene need to put in place to such exercises. To materialize this, India needs to maintain sufficient supply of effective masks and other PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
  7. Moreover, the rapid and immediate innovation of low-cost indigenous ventilators is needed. Reports are positive concerning the Ventilators, however, only time will justify the reports and news.
  8. Adequate equipment's needs to be ready at the frontline well before the nation switches to the approach of in its battle against COVID-19

Defensive Safety Regime for India After the Lockdown 

The security measures put in place by the Indian government are meant to protect people against the viral threat. 

The threats are multiplied by the foreign tourists (irresponsible ones) and Indian citizens who consider the lockdown as nonsense measure by the government and thus increase the risk of person-to-person COVID-19 transmission. To make this matter worst, they neither follow any precautionary measure nor they help themselves educate about the outbreak. 

Hence, the government must implement and employ the strict measures and stringent policies and everyone must exercise the social distancing wherever they are. Only precautionary measures like this, voluntary isolation or self-quarantine and practising the instruction from the government can flatten the curve, convincingly enough to lift the nationwide lockdown.

Precautionary Measures 

To avoid the shock eruption and ugly surprises concerning the COVID-19, we need to check the random samples across Indian, covering every corner and especially the hotspots. 

Should these precautionary measures build convincing confidence in India to end the nationwide lockdown? However, what the picture that is ahead or after of the lockdown ends? Will completely depend on how well the precautionary measures had worked. Although, there is no relaxation is safety reforms and need to be exercised in all situations. 

We could follow, the footsteps of South Korea, identify and locate the hotspots of the COVID-19 and keep a close watch, restrain physical movement in surrounding areas, and provide required medical help and support for the early recovery of the patients. Voluntary exercise of the instructions from the government and concerned authorities is needed by the practised to minimised the impact of the COVID-19 in India. Earliest understanding and practice of the precautionary measures to avoid COVID-19 would convincingly help the government to lift the lockdown and let the rest of India get back to the regular routine. 

Conclusion 

The central government has a series of cumbersome operations to plan and coordinate. This will require the centre to communicate and work together with other public and private establishments. It's not the sole responsibility of the government to oversee the complexities and coordinate them, rather it is also the responsibility of people to leave no room for the COVID-19 to take ugly shape within the Indian borders. 

Nor for an overexcited use of the strictness, sanctions and public surveillance, collectively they need to have the timeline defined by the public norm. 

India in South Asia after China has made tremendous progress and successfully contained the COVID-19 spread. However, the forecast from the World Health Organization and Indian PM Mr Modi mentions, this fight against COVID-19 going to last longer than our expectation.

Source: The Hindu

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