After the ICMR reported a rise of 19 coronavirus cases between 6 pm on Sunday and 10 am on Monday taking the total cases to 415 and deaths to seven, the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi took to Twitter to exhort people to take the lock down seriously.
In his message Mr. Modi said, 'Some people are not taking the lock down seriously even now. Please protect yourselves, protect your families, and follow all government advisories seriously. I urge states to legally enforce rules and law at this time.'
Cases in India have now begun to surge as the pattern of COVID-19 disease changes with more and more people returning to the country from abroad where the viral infection is exponential.
The ICMR head, Dr. Balram Bhargava, said lockdown is the best way for India to flatten the curve of viral transmission and people must stay at home and maintain a one-metre-and-three-foot distance from one another.
For each returnee from abroad, there’s a clear protocol now. Each will be risk-assessed, and sent to either government quarantine or home quarantine depending on the risk.
Everyone at home who has returned from abroad must remain in isolation for 14 days and go for testing if they have the following symptoms — fever, cough, sneezing and short breath.
'Our message is simple. Everyone must stay home for at least two weeks,' said Dr Devi Shetty who is helping Karnataka manage the disease.
The government announced lock down in all Covid-affected districts starting Sunday in the hope that it could prevent the virus from transmission in larger communities in which case it would be lethal.
'We are working to break the chain of transmission,' said Health Ministry officer, Dr. Lav Agarwal.
The WHO has said one infected person infects 2.6 others and then each of these 2.6 infect 2.6 on their part. That’s how the chain grows.
“If you break this chain by preventing people from mixing and practising social distancing through lockdown, you can flatten the viral curve,” said Bhargava.
The virus stays in the body for 14 days before showing symptoms. Outside the body it stays for 12 to 47 hours on surfaces touched and contaminated by droplets from infected persons.
By social distancing people can prevent catching direct infection from the infected. By hand-washing they can kill the virus they may get by touching infected surfaces.