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Last Updated : Jun 02, 2020 01:17 PM IST

Coronavirus pandemic | Lockdown implementation faulty, was treated as law and order problem: COVID-19 task force

A statement issued by the task force comprising the Indian Association of Epidemiologists, the Indian Public Health Association and the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine, said the number of coronavirus cases could have been lower if the migrant labourers were allowed to return to their natives when the virus had not spread so much

At a time when the nationwide COVID-19 tally has almost reached the 2 lakh-mark, the coronavirus task force, which includes public health experts, remarked that the numbers could have been lower if the migrant labourers were allowed to return to their natives when the virus had not spread so much.

As per a Business Standard report, the joint team of experts also claimed that the opaqueness of data provided by the governments at state and central levels posed “impediments to independent research and appropriate response to the pandemic”.

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It suggested the government to make all data, including test results, available in public platforms, so that the research community can access and analyse them in real-time and provide case-specific solutions.

A statement was issued by the task force comprising the Indian Association of Epidemiologists, the Indian Public Health Association and the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine, elaborating this. It stated that the migrants returning home are now spreading the novel coronavirus to distant corners of the country, such as rural and peri-urban areas, where the public healthcare systems are relatively weak.

A senior member of the coronavirus task force informed that no single curve could represent the COVID-19 situation in the country at present since there are several pockets where community transmission may have started. Such areas will have to be analysed locally and be demarcated geographically in a way similar to containment zones.

He also said the lockdown implementation to contain COVID-19 spread was handled more like a law and order problem rather than a public health issue. “The whole exercise was overshadowed by enforcement rather than education. This draconian lockdown is presumably in response to a modelling exercise from an influential institution which presented a ‘worst-case simulation’... Subsequent events have proved that the predictions of this model were way off the mark,” he added.

Meanwhile, the joint statement stated that the COVID-19 situation in India could have been better if the Government of India had consulted epidemiologists instead of “modellers” on how to contain the disease spread.

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First Published on Jun 2, 2020 01:17 pm
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