National

Lockdown helped reduce number of Covid-19 cases, deaths: Govt

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 22, 2020 Published on May 22, 2020

Govt cites various studies to show that the shutdown has helped in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic

The number of Covid-19 cases averted due to the lockdown is in the range of 14-29 lakh, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000, the government said on Friday citing various studies, and asserted that the unprecedented shutdown has paid rich dividends in the fight against the pandemic.

“The lockdown in India has been a timely, graded, proactive and pre-emptive public health measure to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and has been part and parcel of the government’s overall strategy,” Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, and Chairman, Empowered Group 1, said at a media briefing on the Covid-19 situation.

The government imposed the nationwide lockdown from March 25 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and it is currently in its fourth phase.

Like the number of cases, the growth rate of number of Covid-19 deaths too has fallen significantly due to the lockdown, marking a notable difference between pre-lockdown and post-lockdown situations, he said.

‘Lockdown saved lives’

At the briefing, Pravin Srivastava, Secretary, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation gave model-based estimates on Covid-19 cases and deaths which have been prevented due to the lockdown.

As per Boston Consulting Group’s model, the lockdown saved between 1.2 lakh and 2.1 lakh lives, while the number of Covid-19 cases averted is between 36 lakh and 70 lakh, he said. According to Public Health Foundation of India, nearly 78,000 lives have been saved due to the lockdown, he added.

Citing a model by two independent economists, he said that around 23 lakh Covid-19 cases and 68,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown.

Some independent experts, including retired scientists, have calculated that around 15.9 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown, Srivastava said.

A joint study by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Indian Statistical Institute found that around 20 lakh Covid-19 cases and 54,000 deaths were averted due to lockdown, he said.

The number of Covid-19 cases averted due to the lockdown is in the range of 14-29 lakh, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000, the official said.

We are fully confident that the lockdown, with full public cooperation, has reaped rich dividends, Srivastava said.

The strong defence of the lockdown, comes a day after the health ministry said the period of lockdown has been gainfully utilized to ramp up the health infrastructure, with around 3,027 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals and 7,013 care centres being readied across the country to fight the disease.

The announcement on Thursday came after some media reports questioned the country’s preparedness to deal with the highly infectious disease. “There are reports in a section of the media about some decisions of the government regarding the lockdown implementation and response to Covid-19 management. The period of the lockdown has been gainfully utilised to ramp up the health infrastructure in the country,” the ministry had said.

Mortality rate down

Addressing the press briefing on Friday, joint secretary in the health ministry Lav Agarwal said 48,534 Covid-19 patients, which is about 41 per cent of the total cases, have recovered so far. As many as 3,234 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours, he said.

The Covid-19 mortality rate has dropped from 3.13 per cent on May 19 to 3.02 per cent as focus was on containment measures andclinical management of cases, Agarwal said.

An ICMR official said 27,55,714 tests for Covid-19 have been conducted till 1 PM Friday with 1,03,829 tests done in one day. Over 1 lakh tests for Covid-19 have been done each day for the last four days, the official said.

The growth rate of novel coronavirus cases witnessed a steep decline from April 4 when lockdown put a brake on the speed of increase of cases, V K Paul said.

The number of Covid-19 cases would have risen exponentially had the lockdown not been implemented, he said, adding that the doubling rate of cases was 3.4 days when the lockdown started and it is 13.3 days at present.

The Covid-19 outbreak in India has remained confined to limited areas with 80 per cent of active cases in just five States, Paul said.

He said around 80 per cent of Covid-19 deaths have been in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Delhi.

Published on May 22, 2020

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Sincerely,

Support Quality Journalism
  1. Comments will be moderated by The Hindu Business Line editorial team.
  2. Comments that are abusive, personal, incendiary or irrelevant cannot be published.
  3. Please write complete sentences. Do not type comments in all capital letters, or in all lower case letters, or using abbreviated text. (example: u cannot substitute for you, d is not 'the', n is not 'and').
  4. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.
  5. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name, to avoid rejection.
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.