Lockdown averted 29 lakh COVID-19 cases, says Centre

Citing various studies, Centre asserts shutdown paid “rich dividends”, saved 78,000 lives

By Author  |  Published: 22nd May 2020  7:54 pm
Lockdown
File Photo

New Delhi: 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 VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, and Chairman, Empowered Group 1, said at a media briefing.

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.

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, Srivastava said. 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 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 utilised 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.


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