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80 DISTRICTS GO INTO LOCKDOWN TO CONTAIN SPREAD OF VIRUS

Focus: GS-III Disaster Management

Why in news?

  • All train, metro and inter-State transport services across the country were suspended on Sunday till March 31 as the death toll from COVID-19 rose to seven nationwide, and the number of confirmed cases stood at 396.
  • Unprecedented restrictions were imposed in 80 districts across 17 States and five Union Territories affected by the pandemic.

Details

  • State governments will issue orders allowing only essential services to operate in districts with confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  • The focus should be on closure of all activities except essential services such as hospitals, telecom, medicine shops and provision stores.
  • The new measures can be described as further “pre-emptive” actions, given the “sharp increase” in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country after curbs on international travel, contact tracing and efforts at social distancing.
  • The ‘Janata Curfew’ on 22nd March could also be a precursor of more stringent measures.
While initially the number of COVID-19 cases were increasing at a slower pace in India 
Steep 
compared to many other countries, things have taken a turn for the worse since Friday. With 
100 new cases on Saturday, India's climb has become steeper. Despite this rapid climb, the 
climb 
growth in cases is still lower than many Western countries at this stage. However, India's 
testing rate continues to be comparatively poor. By Vignesh Radhakrishnan and Sumant Sen 
1. RAPID PROGRESS I AS of March 21, 166 nations 
recorded at least one COVID-19 case. Of them, 46, including 
India, crossed the 300 mark 
2. PROGRESS COMPARISON I The table lists the % of 
countries which took more days or fewer days than India to 
cross a certain number of cases. For instance, 57% of countries 
took more days than India to jump from 200 to cases, 
while only 4% took fewer days. The more days a country takes 
to reach a mark, the better 
53 
46 
170 166 
130 
90 
50 
1 case 
92 
50 cases 
70 
63 
Total 
nations 
92 
70 
63 
53 
46 
progres 
From O to 
50 cases 
50 to 100 
100 to 150 
150 to 200 
200 to 300 
% took % took % took 
Ore days lessdays same days 
11% 
10% 
57% 
88% 
73% 
78% 
4% 
0% 
13% 
11% 
9% 
37% 
150 cases 
300 cases 
200 cases 
100 cases 
Number of cases crossed as of March 21 _+ 
3. WORRYING RISE The graph depicts the no. of cases 
since the 100th case in each country. With 100 new cases on 
Saturday, India's path — is mimicking the exponential rise 
seen in the early days of some Western countries 
4. STILL BEHIND IN TESTING I Countries like Taiwan (only 
143 cases) and S.Korea (which has contained the spread) have 
some of the highest testing rates. The graph shows the tests 
per million people as of Feb. 4 e, Mar. 9 and the latest date 
in select nations. India's testing rate as Of March 21 was 
behind S.Korea's & Taiwan's February 4 figure 
50,000 
20,000 
10,000 
5,000 
2,000 
1,000 
500 
200 
100 
India 's climb has 
become steeper, 
steering away 
from the likes 
of Singapore and 
Hong Kong 
Italy 
tab'. Spaieerrnany 
Taiwan 
ndia 
710 
986 
6,388 
_ • France 
S. Korea 
11.6 
After an initial surge, 
S. Korea managed to 
flatten the curve 
Japan 
• Singapore 
Belgium 
- —j • Malaysia 
India's 
testing rate 
continued to 
U.K. be significantly 
lower compared 
S. Korea to that of other 
countries 
- Qatar 
India 
. KuwaiV 
6 
10 14 
Days since the 100th case 
30 
Hong Kong 
18 
22 
26 
10 
100 500 1,000 5,000 
Tests per million population (Log scale) _+ 
Latest date: India & S. Korea: Mar. 21; U.s. & U.K.; Mar. 20; Taiwan: Mar. 15 
Source• Johns Hopkins university, health ministries of different governments

Recommendations

  • State governments could request industries / establishments allow their staff to work from home and “provide renumeration to them during this period”.
  • States could also take appropriate measures to help poor and vulnerable sections, including casual workers, in order to mitigate any hardships that might be caused.
curbs 
COVID-19 
FOOD AND PRODUCTS 
A look at the essential services and commodities 
notified by the government 
Locked 
down: 
An aerial 
view of the 
deserted 
Koyambedu 
flyover in 
Chennai 
during the 
Janata 
Curfew on 
Sunday. 
• K. PICHUMANI 
OTHER SERVICES 
• Newspapers, banks 
and ATMs, post offices, 
telecom, petrol and 
diesel pumps 
HOUSEHOLD SERVICES 
• Electricity and water 
supply, sanitary services, 
LPG supply 
• Groceries, fruits and vegetables, milk and 
dairy related products, loading and unload- 
ing of wheat and rice at FCI and State food 
depots, cattle feed and fodder 
MEDICAL 
• Medicines and other pharmaceuticals, 
health services, manufacturing of health 
and medical equipment
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