States agree to extend lockdown by 2 weeks, says PM

Maitri Porecha New Delhi | Updated on April 11, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi   -  KSL

In absence of lockdown and containment, COVID-19 cases could have gone up to 8.2 lakh by April 15, said health ministry official

India would extend the lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic by two weeks from April 14, the 21-day period originally proposed to end the restriction, with States unanimously agreeing to such a proposal during a video conference between Chief Ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.

Next three to four weeks are critical in determining the impact of the 21-day lockdown to bring down COVID-19 cases, Modi told the CMs during the video interaction. He said there is a consensus among the States on the extension of the lockdown period by two weeks.

India entered a state of lockdown on March 25 which was slated to end on April 14.

As on April 11 morning, 7,447 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in India, of which 643 had recovered and 239 persons had died. “An increase of 1,035 cases was noted in the past 24 hours, with 40 new deaths,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).





According to a statistical analysis by MoHFW, in absence of lockdown but with adequate containment measuresby April 11, there could have been 45,370 cases, about six times more, which could have further spiked to 1.2 lakh cases by April 15.

The analysis further stated that if there were no lockdown or containment, COVID-19 cases would have gone up to a whopping 2,08,544, which is up to 28 times more than the current number of confirmed cases as on April 11, projected to spike to 8.2 lakh cases by April 15.

Modi in his interaction with CMs observed, “Combined effort of the Centre and the States has definitely helped reduce the impact of COVID-19 but since the situation is rapidly evolving, constant vigilance is paramount.”

He also condemned and expressing distress at the instances of attacks on the doctors and medical staff, and at incidents of misbehaviour with students from North-East and Jammu and Kashmir. He underlined that such cases need to be dealt with firmly. He also spoke about the need to curb lockdown violations and ensure that social distancing is followed.

To buttress that the containment strategy was working, Aharwal cited the example of cluster containment approach adopted in Agra. After the first case was detected on February 25, epicentre of the case and hotspots were identified on the map. A zone of 3 kms was labelled as containment area with a 5-km zone designated as a buffer zone around the epicentre. Urban primary health centres were roped in and each area was charted out in a micro plan where civic body and health workers formed 1,248 special teams to conduct a house-to-house survey of 9.3 lakh persons. 2,500 persons with cough, cold and fever were identified and they were monitored for COVID-19, Agarwal explained.

Agarwal said that States and centre had identified 1 lakh isolation beds and 11,500 intensive care unit beds till date in 5,086 COVID-19 hospitals.

R Gangakhedkar, head, infectious diseases, Indian Council of Medical Research stated that 1,71,718 samples had been tested for COVID-19 till date through Real Time Polymerase Chain reaction in labs. In the past 24 hours, 146 government labs had tested 14,210 samples and 67 private labs had processed 2,354 samples, he stated.

Published on April 11, 2020

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