Curbs throughout lockdown averted up to 78,000 deaths: Govt – india news

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Lockdown 1 and 2 managed to avert between 1.4 and 2.9 million coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases and 54,000 deaths ,according to government data released by Niti Aayog member Vinod Paul on Friday.

Paul used to be highlighting results of quite a lot of epidemic modelling exercises done by experts to measure the gains of the lockdown imposed in the country starting on March 25 and extended three times.

“This data is based on the affect of lockdown and other measures taken between lockdown 1 and 2. Even supposing quite a lot of agencies have conducted the analysis but the results roughly are indicative of the same conclusion that lockdown has managed to significantly slow down the virus transmission rate in the country,” said Paul.

“The situation would have been much worse, as the data suggests. We have approximately 95% confidence level on the data generated out of all this analysis, which is proof enough to say that the country is on track. Having said that, this type of analysis is at all times prone to improvisations, depending on the type of data that’s fed.”

A minimum of five different agencies were involved in data analysis, providing a range between 1.4 and 2.9 million cases averted, and between 37,000 and 78,000 deaths averted.

The analysis also shows that much of the outbreak is confined to a limited area. As of May 21, around 80% of the Covid-19 cases were limited to five states, and 90% of the cases were spread in large part across 10 states. The states are Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka.

In the cities, approximately 70% of the cases are confined to just 10 — Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmadabad, Thane, Pune, Indore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Aurangabad.

The deaths follow the same sample, with 95% of Covid-19 deaths being reported from 10 states and 70% from 10 cities.

The 10 worst affected states in relation to deaths are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. And the 10 cities from where maximum deaths are being reported are Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Thane, Jaipur, Chennai and Surat.

“What data tells us is currently is that it is an urban disease as mostly cities have been affected so far, and our interventions need to be accordingly deliberate at the level of cities, municipalities and even at the block level. Then again it is easier to contain the spread in villages on account of low population density,” said Paul.

The government has at all times maintained that lockdown used to be meant to slow the disease transmission in order that it got enough time to upgrade the health infrastructure in relation to hospitals beds, testing capacity and trained human resources, among other things ,to better manage the outbreak.

Even supposing India is well-prepared to care for the situation, Paul says now is the time to be additional cautious.

“We were under lockdown so far, but now that we are lifting it gradually, there will be challenges in curtailing the transmission because the virus is in circulation and we haven’t any immunity against it. Also, it’s not a matter of days, weeks or months but much longer, so we need to be additional careful and strictly follow the preventive measures such as maintaining physical distancing, following hygiene practices, wearing masks etc. The idea is to make it difficult for the virus to spread,” says Paul.

Experts agree that gains have been made, and what shape the outbreak takes now depends on human behaviour.

“Mathematical modelling is normally a way of telling what could have been the case whether sure measures were taken to prevent disease from spreading throughout an outbreak. Lockdown used to be a measure to make sure our health system wasn’t burdened and it has achieved its purpose. Now the onus lies on people to consolidate the gains made,” said Dr AC Dhariwal, former director, National Centre for Disease Keep watch over (NCDC).

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