Wuhan Lockdown Ends: Relevance of ‘Social Distancing’ Experience for India

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Social distancing and quarantine seems to be only viable option to curb the transmission of this deadly disease till vaccine and proven therapeutic drugs are made available commercially.

The Chinese government has ended 11 week long lockdown of the city of Wuhan following no reports of new cases of infections in the last week.

The city of Wuhan was the original epicentre of the corona crisis. Possibly, it started around the month of November-December last year and soon spread almost everywhere in the world taking the form of pandemic.

Social Distancing

Complete lockdown was imposed on Wuhan on 23 January which lasted for about 76 days (roughly 11 weeks). The lockdown involved strict epidemic control on movement of people and had brought the city to a complete halt. Yet the city reported about 50 thousands cases and 2500 deaths (the prevalence and mortality figures are said to be much higher). Luckily, the city did not report any new case last week following which control is being lifted.

There are no approved vaccine yet nor any proven treatment so far. Strict epidemic controls in the form of social distancing and lockdown seems to have worked in Wuhan. Now people are allowed to leave Wuhan. Flights and road and rail links are being re-opened.

What has worked in Wuhan may work in India as well.

There is currently complete national level lockdown in India since 24 March which is about to end on 14 April.

The government official had earlier indicated that the three week lockdown will not be extended beyond the end date but now there are indications that the same may be further extended especially in view of spike in reports of new cases across the country possibly as a result of Tabligh congregation in Delhi.

There are also some reports of stage 3 community transmission.

Social distancing and quarantine seems to be only viable option to curb the transmission of this deadly disease till vaccine and proven therapeutic drugs are made available commercially.

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The India Review Team

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