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Fact check: Has WHO released protocol for coronavirus lockdown 'periods'?

Devdiscourse News Desk | Sonipat | Updated: 05-04-2020 22:45 IST | Created: 05-04-2020 22:45 IST
Fact check: Has WHO released protocol for coronavirus lockdown 'periods'?

A message attributed to the World Health Organization (WHO) that says lockdown periods should be in 4 phases or "steps" to control the spread of coronavirus. The WHO has distanced itself from the message and has made it clear that the organization does not have any protocol for lockdowns.

Here is the message:

The message is although fake, it seems to be somewhat based on a recent study by two researchers from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. The study suggests that India should implement the lockdown in 3 phases (the one day "trial lockdown" is not suggested in the study) with the relaxation of 5 days to control the spread of coronavirus. Notably, according to the study, the most optimum scenario would be continued 49-day lockdown and it is estimated to bring down the number of infections down to less than 50 by mid-May. A copy of the study can be accessed here.

The proposed Cambridge model has some limitations the researchers have noted that in the paper itself which says, "It is possible to have differentiated controls which apply distinct social distancing measures at different times and for different durations, we do not explore these here as the general setting". The paper concludes by saying that the model can only "aid in qualitative understanding and quantitative prediction but it should not be used in isolation from other perspectives, including economic, medical, social and ethical ones."

The Indian government has not announced an extension to the 21-day lockdown down and has regularly dismissed reports regarding an extension. Sharing fake news can create panic and put people in harm's way. Both central and state governments are actively weeding out people who are circulating fake or misleading information about the COVID 19 pandemic. Readers are encouraged to verify facts before sharing any information regarding the disease.


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