Rigorous national lockdown seems to be the only way to break the chain of the devastating second wave of coronavirus in the country. Experts, both in the national covid-19 task force and otherwise, have rooted for it.
According to an exclusive report by The Indian Express, some members of the Covid-19 task force, a technical expert body that advises the Central Government, are “pushing hard” for a national lockdown.
With the caseload increasing and India reporting more deaths than ever, the covid-19 task force members have been suggesting for a national lockdown lasting two weeks. India on Saturday reported an unprecedented 4.01 lakh Covid-19 cases and 3,523 deaths in the last 24 hours.
The task force includes experts from AIIMS and ICMR, and has met many times during the recent surge. The deliberations of these experts are of significance since the chairperson of the task force, V K Paul, reports to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the nation on April 20, had said that all efforts should be made to avoid a lockdown which should be used only as the “last resort.”
India has been battling with a shortage of oxygen and hospital beds as number of positive ocvid-19 cases keep spiking with every passing day.
In an exclusive conversation with News18, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria said that India’s health infrastructure is “stretched to the limit” and “aggressive lockdowns” – like the one imposed in March last year – in areas with positivity rates over 10 per cent are needed to contain the second COVID-19 wave
Guleria said night curfews and weekend lockdowns – such as those enforced by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and other states – were proving to be ineffectual.
Several states in the country are already in some form of lockdown mode. In most states, places where people gather — shopping malls, gyms, cinema halls, etc, — are shut and there are restrictions on the number of people who can assemble for marriages, funerals, etc.