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Why it is not okay to lift lockdown in a rush in India?

Cases have almost doubled from 26,000 to 52,000 in last 10 days

The number of coronavirus cases continue to increase in India. It has crossed 50,000 mark on Wednesday. The country saw 3,561 new cases in the last 24 hours and the total number of cases has surged up to 52,952. More than 10,000 patients are detected positive in last three days raising a big concern for India authorities. The biggest number was reported on Tuesday morning by health ministry- 3900 over a period of 24 hours. From around 26,000 thousand cases on 26th April, cases have doubled in the last 10 days.

While the cases are increasing, the economy is getting weaker day by day because of the lockdown. India was in complete lockdown for 40 days in the first and second phase (25th March to 3rd May) of the coronavirus lockdown with exceptions only to essential and emergency services. But in the third phase which is scheduled for two more weeks till 17th May, several relaxations were given by the central government.

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Decision to open liquor shops in red zones raises big questions

Relaxations in green zones to boost the economy can be understoo, but reopening the liquor shops in red zones has raised a big concern . There were long queues outside the liquor shops,and all social distancing rules were broken

In a press conference, Indian Council Medical Research chief Dr R Gangakhedkar had said that 80 per cent of COVId-19 cases in India don’t show symptoms or show mild symptoms.

There seems to be a rush within state and local officials pushing for loosening the restrictions related to pandemic. But it seems that these officials are not thinking about a hidden but vital part of the story- ‘Asymptomatic cases.’People who have coronavirus but haven’t fallen ill can silently and unknowingly infect others.

Asymptomatic people possess a great threat to non-infected

If lockdown restrictions are relaxed, then these asymptomatic people possess a great threat for non-infected. Patients who don’t have symptoms won’t go to doctors or even the government won’t care to test these people or perform contact tracing actions against them.

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India has a huge population.. It is almost impossible to test the majority of people because of the lack of testing kits and medical infrastructure. We are only testing those people who have symptoms, people with foreign travel history or people who came in contact with an infected person. We have tested around 13 lakhs people so far which is almost 980 people per 10 lakhs and 1 per cent of the total population.

CDC of America has said that testing and contact tracing are critical to detect asymptomatic cases, interrupt undetected transmission chains and further decrease the number of cases.

Looking at all the aspects – the rising number of coronavirus, weakening economy, asymptomatic cases, medical preparedness, India doesn’t seem ready to lift the lockdown completely. Phase-wise relaxations seem the only way for India to defeat the lockdown.

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