Lockdown effective to control COVID 19 outbreak revealed data analysis

Comparative data analysis of COVID 19 cases in five major countries – China, the US, Germany, Italy and India, reveal that timely lockdown has been effective in controlling the outbreak of disease.

Siddheshwar  ShuklaSiddheshwar Shukla | Updated: 14-04-2020 23:13 IST | Created: 14-04-2020 23:13 IST
Lockdown effective to control COVID 19 outbreak revealed data analysis
WHO COVID 19 MAP Image Credit: WHO

Though a huge economic cost is attached to it, several countries have partially or fully implemented lockdown to control the spread of highly contagious novel coronavirus. In the absence of any vaccine or effective treatment, the lockdown is being looked upon as the only measure to control the epidemic but has been controversial as well. However, a date-wise analysis of the spread of novel coronavirus in five major countries indicates that the lockdown has been quite effective in controlling the pandemic. 

Stage 1: COVID 19 cases between 1 to 100

The comparative analysis of the disease outbreak data provided by the WHO has substantiated the claims that lockdown is helping in controlling the outbreak. According to the analysis of COVID 19 spread in China, the US, Italy, Germany and India; between 1 January to 14 April 2020, the courtiers strictly implementing lockdown have performed better in controlling the pandemic. 

The first case of COVID 19 was reported in India on January 30 that reached to 107 cases on March 15. Italy reported the first two cases on January 29 that reached to 124 on February 23 while the US reported first COVID 19 case on January 21 that reached 108 on March 3. In this stage, none of the countries was implementing lockdown. They did not implement even social distancing and strict travel restrictions within the country. The number of days the virus took to reach 100 from the day of the first infection is almost same in all the countries. 

India took 45 days to reach from 1 to 100 cases. The US, Germany, Italy reached from 1-100 cases in 43, 33 and 25 days respectively. However, China, the epicentre of COVID 19 outbreak, had reached this stage in just 8 days. The actual number of cases in Italy, US, Germany and China on March 15 were respectively 24,747; 1,714; 4838 and 81,048.

As the cases were increasing in India, the Centre and state governments started announcing measures to control the outbreak. Some states like Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi imposed complete lockdown in continuity to the Janata Curfew declared by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 22. Ultimately, the 21 days’ nationwide lockdown was implemented from March 25.

Stage 2: COVID 19 cases between 100 to 1,000

India is the only among these five countries to implement pan-national lockdown in this stage. India entered in the complete lockdown on March 25 with 606 confirmed cases. 

Italy declared complete lockdown on March 13 when it had 17,660 cases.  Germany entered in lockdown on March 22 with 21,463 cases. China declared lockdown in Wuhan on January 23 while the US declared lockdown in Washington on March 20. Both the US and China has been implementing city-specific and state-specific lockdown measures. Thus the US implemented lockdown in Washington when it had 15, 219 cases. 

The data reveal that India, Germany, Italy and China took six days to reach from 100 to 1,000 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus while the US took 10 days to reach this stage. The reason behind the US taking four more days was due to alleged under-reporting of the cases. The US authorities including President Donald Trump were initially ignorant about the disease and even mocked China on several occasions. The US started screeing and testing after the cases spiked and the situation became alarming.

On 30th March, India had reported 1,071 cases. By the time Italy had 97, 689 cases, US 122,653, Germany 57, 298 cases and China 82,455 cases.

Stage 3: COVID 19 cases between 1,000 to 10,000

US, Germany and China crossed 10,000 cases in 6 days, 6 days and 7 days respectively while Italy took 10 days. India took a maximum of 16 days to cross this stage. As per the data on April 14, India had 10, 363 cases.

India could have successfully elongated this period if a religious event in Delhi was not provided relaxations during the lockdown. It was due to this event, the number of cases and active nodes both spiked alarmingly that created several hotspots in cities as well as in the rural areas. However, among these major countries, India succeeded in elongating this period and minimizing the rate of growth. The projections suggest that if the strict measures were not implemented on time, the situations in India would have been similar to the US, Italy, Germany and China.  

Stage 4: COVID 19 cases between 10,000 to 100,000

India just entered in this stage on April 14. The increasing number of cases have been a serious concern of the Central and state governments. Therefore, the Prime Minister of India on April 14 announced to extend the lockdown till May 3 while certain areas are proposed to be given some relaxations since April 20.

It is pertinent to mention that Italy, Germany, China and the US had implemented lockdown in this stage i.e. after reporting over 10,000 COVID 19 cases. Today, the condition of the novel coronavirus outbreak in those countries are disastrous. As per the data of the World Health Organization (WHO) on April 14, Italy had 159, 516 cases, the US 553, 822, China 83, 696 cases and Germany 125, 098 cases.

As the experts in the WHO have been issuing contradictory statements, these data may provide a direction to the international organizations as well as governments. While WHO has issued guidelines to implement lockdown, it’s chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had reportedly stated that lockdown was ‘not enough’ to control the outbreak of COVID 19.  After his statement controversies were erupted in India on whether to continue or scrap the lockdown and opt for any other alternative measure.

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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