The number of positive COVID-19 cases in India would have risen to 820,000 by April 15 if a nationwide lockdown and containment strategy had not been implemented, the Indian Health Ministry said on Saturday.
During a briefing, Lav Agarwal, an official at the Health and Family Welfare Ministry, said that the government’s measures such as containment and lockdown are really important to fight COVID-19.
“We had done an analysis on the rate of growth in cases. If we would have not implemented the lockdown or containment measures, we might have had around 820,000 cases by 15 April and the cases would have touched 200,000 without lockdown and just containment measures,” Agarwal said.
During the briefing, Agarwal also highlighted that there are 100,000 isolation beds and 11,500 intensive care beds reserved for COVID-19 patients across the country along with 586 COVID-19 specific hospitals.
“The government had taken early preemptive action and to the extent of being over-prepared and through our graded approach, we have aligned our response with the evolving situation. The government has done great to identify COVID-19 hotspots in the country,” Agarwal said.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a videoconference with state chiefs, where they suggested an extended nationwide lockdown.
According to the Indian Health Ministry, there have been 7,447 COVID-19 cases in India and 239 deaths.
Measures Taken by Indian Gov't to Spread of COVID-19
After taking lessons from the devastating situation in Europe, Iran, China, and several other countries which were severely hit by the pandemic, the government of India announced a curfew on 22 March.
The step was taken because medical experts believed that the government wanted to assess whether the country was ready for the full lockdown or not. After receiving strong support nationwide, PM Modi imposed a 21-day lockdown starting from 25 March.
Only essential and emergency services are allowed free movement across the country. All transport and travel services are shut and borders are sealed. The government has also brought back students and people stuck in pandemic-hit countries.
The government has connected with all state and union territory governments and worked as a team to counter the pandemic. The Indian health ministry has alerted people to maintain social distancing, avoid gatherings and wash their hands frequently.
However, the situation became tense when migrant workers, who were out of work and money due to the lockdown, assembled in several parts of Delhi before heading back to their native villages. Various government agencies swung into action and assured the workers that the state would take care of their needs. The government also provided bus services to help them reach home.
The government has also requested the public to stay indoors and increase their immunity with the help of ayurveda and yoga.