Expert panel wants lockdown lifted in stages to consolidate gains of last 3 weeks

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on April 10, 2020

An expert committee tasked with helping the State government to devise an exit strategy for Coronavirus lockdown, has recommended a phase-wise lifting.


The committee said, “As most of these patients got infected before the 21 days lock-down and of course, we are likely to see rapidly increasing numbers for the next few days followed by a plateau and rapid decline due to the effect of lock-down.”

“We believe the 21-day lockdown might bring down mortality by at least 50 per cent. In order to capitalise on this lead, we need to follow-up with some smart and some unconventional strategies as soon as the lockdown gets lifted,” it said.

On the exit strategy, committee said “We recommend phased exit at 2-weekly intervals. Covid-19 is a three-month old disease and there is no precedence or standards to follow. No one can predict the ground realities at the end of two weeks, so let’s design the action plan for two weeks from April 15 to 30.”

“We just need to send a message to everyone that life is not going to be normal for at least six months.”

In its recommendations for general public, experts said “The lock-down will continue in localised identified hotspots for two weeks. Strict social distancing policy must be enforced even after the exit for the next six weeks until May 31. No gathering of more than 4 to 6 people should be allowed at public places.”

For offices and educational Institutions, it said “Lockdown should continue for all educational institutions and tutorials until May 31. They should, however, be encouraged to take online classes. This experience of online education should be an opportunity to lay the foundation for massive reforms in online education at all levels. Encourage more work-from-home for IT, BT and commercial establishments. However, they can also operate at 50 per cent strength. Essential services in government offices may function with 50 per cent staff strength by alternating staff every week until April 30 and reviewed thereafter. This will ensure smooth continuity of work. The staff that worked in the first week will be given off the next week.

The report said “Encourage industries in the organised sector to reopen and function at 50 per cent of its strength alternating staff every other week so that everyone is in employment and gets paid fully.”

Published on April 10, 2020

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