The government on Saturday claimed that the nationwide lockdown had helped the country limit the extent of disease transmission to significant levels as compared to the previously alarming projections. A statistical study by the Ministry of Health estimated that in the absence of a lockdown, the country would have clocked 8.2 lakh Covid-19 cases by April 15.
Though the country witnessed the highest single-day rise in cases (1,117) and mortality (40) since Saturday, the overall national Covid burden is still around 1 per cent of the government estimation in a 'no-lockdown situation.
'Assuming 41 per cent cumulative growth rate, India, in a no-lockdown situation would have witnessed 8.2 lakh Covid-19 cases by April 15,' said the Health Ministry spokesman, Mr. Lav Agarwal, after CMs of most states today urged the Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, to extend the ongoing lockdown by at least two weeks.
In the second projected scenario of India going in for mass containment efforts, but no lockdown, the government estimated to see 1.2 lakh cases by April 15.
'In the pre-lockdown stage, we saw the highest cumulative growth rate of 28.9 per cent. At this growth rate, we would have seen 1.2 lakh cases by April 15 had we only gone in only for containment without national lockdown,”' M. Lav Agarwal said.
The rate of Covid infections in India had begun to rise dramatically in the pre-lockdown days with Mr. Modi deciding to announce a Janata Curfew on March 22 followed by a 21-day national lockdown from March 24.
Post the lockdown, rate of infections largely remained stable between 11 and 17 per cent until last Sunday when a cluster in Delhi’s Nizamuddin suddenly spiked the disease burden nationally with contact tracing of the cluster’s primary patient’s still underway.
India has so far built 586 dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across states with one lakh isolation bed strength and 11,500 ICU beds. 'This capacity is being augmented,' said the government.