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Coronavirus: Indian start-up community urge govt to impose lockdown across major cities

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2020 Published on March 18, 2020

India’s startup community on Tuesday urged the Government of India to impose lockdown and Section 144 across major cities this week apart from taking other important measures to contain COVID-19.

Founders and Venture Capitalists from the start-up community have written to various government bodies detailing these measures and a possible outcome of the coronavirus outbreak in India if the pandemic was not contained.

“Our data modelling suggests that a lock-down now against 30 days later might help save five times more lives in just 90 days,” the report said.

The report also cited examples of countries such as South Korea, Singapore and Japan which “have acted early and strongly” to “flatten the curve” in regard to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It also cited data from 1918 Flu Pandemic strongly suggesting “early strong action.” It further speculated that the number of cases in India can spike as compared to what is reported now.

Actual cases are likely between 600-2500 against 125 diagnosed cases Eg: In Hubei timeline graph, on Jan 22, “when Wuhan thought it had 444 cases, it had 27 times more,” it said.

“With these people having likely contacted 10-50 others, we may move to community transmission sooner than 30 days from today,” it further read.

The start-ups pointed out the social and economic costs of the proposed lockdown urging the government to further scale up infrastructure, maintain supply chain for food and essential ingredients and set up a government headed “war room” in each State for treatment.

Startups such as Urban Company, Bounce, Snapdeal, Unacademy, Redbus, 1mg, Shadowfax as well as investors including Matrix Partners, Accel Partners, Kalaari Capital have endorsed the findings of the report.

Apart from the petition, the start-up community has been working to contribute towards the containment of the coronavirus pandemic in the county and help citizens get through the current situation.

Food delivery platforms Zomato and Swiggy outlined detailed measures that the companies were taking to ensure hygiene including an option for a ‘no-contact’ doorstep delivery.

Healthcare start-up GOQii recently launched a ‘contact tracking’ features on its app to help users track every movement, activity and the data regarding people that they have come in close contact with as per previous reports.

Published on March 18, 2020
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