Here's how Modi's extended 40-day lockdown could flatten the Coronavirus infection curve

Here's how Modi's extended 40-day lockdown could flatten the Coronavirus infection curve
Medical team wearing protective suits in the premises of Nalanda Medical College Hospital to screen visitors for COVID-19 symptoms during nation wide lockdown in Patna on Monday, April 13BCCL

  • The extension of the lockdown to May 3 culminates in a 40-day containment period for India.
  • A study by the University of Cambridge shows that this may be the best-case scenario for India.
  • However, it remains to be seen how the relaxations which will come in play on April 20 will affect India’s lockdown efforts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the nationwide lockdown will be extended till May 3 culminating in a 40-day containment period. An analysis by the Centre of Mathematical Science at the University of Cambridge.shows that had the lockdown been pulled within 21-days, the number of cases would have increased would have sky-rocketed. However, a 49-day lockdown period will ensure that that tally comes down to below 100 by May 13.

Here's how Modi's extended 40-day lockdown could flatten the Coronavirus infection curve
Number of Coronavirus infections in India with respect to different lockdown scenariosIANS

This could be the best-case scenario for India. The study made projections for four different durations ⁠— 21 days, 21 days with one interval followed by a 28-day lockdown, 21 days with two intervals followed by a 28-day and another 18-day lockdown, and 49-day lockdown with no breaks⁠ — and the estimated Covid-19 infections were the least in the last scenario.

“We used an age-structured SIR model with social contact matrices obtained from surveys and Bayesian imputation to study the progress of the COVID-19 epidemic in India,” said the study Ronojoy Adhikari and Rajesh Singh. Social distancing is the most effective tool that governments have to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic until a vaccine becomes available, according to them.

In Modi’s address to the nation today, April 14, he stated that some rules of the lockdown may even become more strict in the coming days in view of areas that have become burgeoning hotspots.


However, what remains to be seen is how the relaxations that will be brought into place starting April 20 will affect the spread of the virus. According to Modi, these relaxations are only being implemented to help daily wage workers who are facing the brunt of the Coronavirus’ impact on the economy — and could also be reversed if the pandemic takes a turn for the worse.

Detailed guidelines of where these relaxations will be implemented and how far the government is willing to go will be issued tomorrow, April 15.

Currently, we have 220 testing labs up and running along with 100,000 hospital beds and 600 hospitals, which are equipped to handle Coronavirus patients.

India’s lockdown so far
Modi highlighted that India is faring much better than other nations around the world in the battle against the Coronavirus pandemic. Before the number of cases in the country hit 100, travel restrictions were put in place and before the tally reached 500, the country was placed under lockdown.

Despite the many restrictions, the total number of cases in India have now surged to over 10,000. The resulting toll is a sombre 339. Without enough testing kits in place, the country is largely relying on network surveillance to trace and quarantine anyone who may have Coronavirus.

Even though the number of tests that are being conducted has grown almost four times since April 1 to an average of 15,000 on a daily basis — it’s still one of the lowest test rates per capita in the world.

See also:
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 7 commandments for extended lockdown

Prime Minister Narendra Modi extends Coronavirus lockdown until May 3

PM Modi promises limited relaxation from April 20 in some areas even as he extends nationwide lockdown till May 3