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Last Updated : Apr 06, 2020 01:39 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India may not lift coronavirus lockdown before September, study says

The BCG data suggests that the India lockdown started in line with China's timing of the lockdown. Consultancy firm says a document, illustrating one scenario of how the COVID-19 virus might progress globally, has been circulating publicly without context or its authorisation.


India will begin lifting COVID-19 lockdown restrictions only between the fourth week of June and the second week of September, says a new study.

The “longer range” of lifting the restrictions was a result of expected challenges in India due to health system preparedness and record of public policy effectiveness, said the study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

In a statement, BCG said it regularly does scenario planning to support its clients with all kinds of business issues. “We analyse internally and externally gathered data to formulate these scenarios. For this unprecedented pandemic, with its extreme level of uncertainty, BCG does not claim to provide predictions about duration of lockdown, peak of viral infections, the efficacy of health systems, or other health and societal impacts,” it said.

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“A BCG document, illustrating one scenario of how the COVID-19 virus might progress globally, has been circulating publicly without context or authorization from BCG. The projections contained in the document vary by 100-1000x, and were built to study one range of possible outcomes. This document does not represent an “official BCG view,” nor does it purport to state how the pandemic will pan out,” it said in the statement.

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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The government announced a lockdown on March 24, joining other countries such as the UK, Poland, Colombia to impose curbs on movement and business activities.

The report by BCG, an American consultancy firm, is centred on epidemic projection on COVID-19. This report represents estimates as of March 25, based on a predictive modelling leveraging John Hopkins University data with full modelling constraints.

The report provides estimated key dates of COVID-19 crisis on the following parameters:

- Status of the countries whether it is fully lockdown or not?
- Potential lockdown start dates
- The peak dates for respective countries.

- Short and long potential lockdown end date.

The BCG data suggests that the India lockdown started in line with China's timing of the lockdown.

Boston Consulting Report
First Published on Apr 3, 2020 01:45 pm
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