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COVID-19: Pandemic likely to end by February-end as India reached peak in late September

Rida Shaikh

Professor M Vidyasagar of IIT Hyderabad said that if the government hadn’t imposed the lockdown, India would have been hit very hard by the COVID-19. India would’ve experienced a peak load of around 1.40 crore of cases in June alone.

After conducting a study on ‘Progression of the Covid-19 Pandemic in India: Prognosis and Lockdown Impacts,’ Professor M Vidyasagar said, “Given our lack of preparedness back then, the healthcare system would have been overwhelmed, leading to many additional deaths.”

The government had appointed a committee that was chaired by Professor M Vidyasagar. The committee concluded that the government waited until May to impose the lockdown. The peak load of active cases would’ve been around 50 lakh till June.Around late September, the load of active COVID-19 cases reached around 10 lakh. By the time the peak reached 10 lakh, India was far better equipped to combatting the pandemic in terms of diagnostics and vital equipment inventories.

The committee said, “Therefore, the imposition of an early and comprehensive lockdown pushed the peak of cases far into the future and also reduced the peak load on the system. In short, the lockdown “flattened the curve.”

The downward trend of the active COVID-19 cases will continue only if we practice the norms of social distancing, sanitizing, and wearing a mask strictly. If all these rules and regulations are strictly adhered to, the pandemic will be in control by early next year and there will be a minimum number of active coronavirus infections by February end. The committee furthermore added that any sort of relaxation in preventive and protective measures can cause the cases to shoot up to 26 lakhs within a month.

The committee also ascertained that the migration of labor to Uttar Pradesh had a minimalistic impact on the total coronavirus cases which implies that the quarantine strategies proved effective in the case.

The committee said, “No fresh lockdowns should be imposed on district or state level to contain the spread of COVID-19 unless there is an imminent danger of healthcare facilities being overwhelmed.”

The committee comprises of IITs and IISC professors besides the scientists. They cautioned the citizens that with the upcoming festive season, there is an increased chance of susceptibility to the novel coronavirus. Nevertheless, if strict preventive measures are abided by, the activities can be resumed. The committee said, “Avoiding congestion, especially in closed spaces and special care of those above 65 years and children is even more significant. Personnel with co-morbidities need to be extra cautious.”

 

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