No Other Option but the Lockdown

Many are questioning the 21 days blanket pan India lockdown. A few are comparing it with Emergency! The answers to such questions lie into two basic but hard realities. One is related to the health infrastructure and the second is related to the population density. However there are many who are raising questions on account the supplies of essential commodities to citizens and economic consequences of the lockdown also.

On the front of infrastructure, India is far behind the WHO recommended standards in most of the parameters. The total number of government allopathic doctors are 1,16,757 for 135 crore Indians with one allopathic doctor available for 11,562 citizens. In many states like Bihar, one doctor is available for 28,391. Similarly there is just 0.52 government hospital bed for 1000 citizens!

As far as the population density is concerned, India is one of the most densely populated nations in the world with an average population density of more than 420 citizens in one square kilometer. Many states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal have even higher population density. This makes India one the most vulnerable places in the world for community transmission of Covid-19. Considering the poor public health system, it would never be possible for India to treat the large number of patients infected from Coronavirus if community transmission of the virus would have been allowed to happen. 

Till now, the best part of this lockdown is that there is no public unrest against this. Rather people are welcoming. But the biggest challenge is to ensure the supply of groceries, milk and daily provisions to 1.35 billion people. If the governments (central and states) fail to ensure smooth supply, the overwhelming welcome of lockdown will start eroding as already there is problem on the supply of these essential commodities.

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