Now India is in the second phase of the COVID-19 lockdown that will continue until May 03, 2020.
However, India shouldn’t stop there, says the world’s leading health journal Lancet.
Speaking to Indian media, Richard Horton, Editor-in-chief of Lancet, said India shouldn’t hasten on its exit plans and should undertake at least a 10-week lockdown.
“I understand you have to resume economic activity but please don’t rush this… if you rush lifting the lockdown and if you have the second wave [of disease] it will be even worse than the first wave,” says Richard.
“In such a case, you will have to go all the way back to the very beginning of your lockdown. You have invested so much time and effort in your lockdown, don’t waste it. Keep going with it as much as you possibly can till 10 weeks,” he adds.
“The epidemic in each country won’t go on forever, it will burn itself out. If the lockdown is successful in India, you could see a decline in the epidemic around the end of a 10-week time course,” he stated further.
However, this will not bring things back to normal. “We will still have to maintain physical distancing, we might even have to wear masks, and pay greater attention to personal hygiene,” he adds.
He cited Wuhan’s case stating that the city adopted a strict self-lockdown for a 10-week period from January 23, 2020, until early April 2020 and could extinguish the transmission.
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“They are now going back to normal. In fact, all epidemiological models show they needed to do this. This is because of the nature of the virus. It spreads rapidly in a population if you don’t physically distance,” he added.
To the point that ‘what’s guarantee the virus will be controlled after 10 weeks?’, he explains that the virus can’t spread as there will only be few people to result in the mass spread.
“Testing and contract tracing are necessary to maintain the efficacy of lockdown,” he added.
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