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'Lockdown averted 14-29 lakh Corona cases, 37-78K deaths'

Lockdown averted 14-29 lakh Corona cases, 37-78K deaths

New Delhi: After facing criticism over exponential rise in the new positive cases despite nationwide lockdown, the government led by Prime Minster Narendra Modi has on Friday stated that the number of COVID-19 cases averted due to the lockdown is in the range of 14-29 lakh, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000.

The lockdown in India has been a timely, graded, proactive and pre-emptive public health measure to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and has been part and parcel of the government's overall strategy, said Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, and chairman, Empowered Group-1.

The government imposed the nationwide lockdown from March 25 to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus

and it is currently in its fourth phase.

Like the number of cases, the growth rate of number of COVID-19 deaths too has fallen significantly due to the lockdown, marking a notable difference between pre-lockdown and post-lockdown situations, said Paul, who in his first briefing had told

that the graph of new positive cases would come down by May 16.

At the briefing, Secretary of Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Pravin Srivastava presented model-based estimates on COVID-19 cases and deaths which have been prevented due to the lockdown.

As per Boston Consulting Group's model, the lockdown saved between 1.2 lakh and 2.1 lakh lives, while the number of COVID-19 cases averted is between 36 lakh and 70 lakh, he said.

According to Public Health Foundation of India, nearly 78,000 lives have been saved due to the lockdown, Srivastava said.

Citing a model by two independent economists, he said that around 23 lakh COVID-19 cases and 68,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown.

Some independent experts, including retired scientists, have calculated that around 15.9 lakh cases and 51,000 deaths have been averted due to the lockdown, Srivastava said.

A joint study by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and the Indian Statistical Institute found that around 20 lakh COVID-19 cases and 54,000 deaths were averted due to lockdown, he said.

The number of COVID-19 cases averted due to the lockdown is in the range of 14-29 lakh, while the number of lives saved is between 37,000 and 78,000, the official said, adding that we are fully confident that the lockdown, with full public cooperation, has reaped rich dividends.

The strong defence of the lockdown, comes a day after the Health Ministry said that the period of lockdown has been gainfully utilised to ramp up the health infrastructure, with around 3,027 dedicated COVID-19 hospitals and 7,013 care centres being readied across the country to fight the disease.

According to Health Ministry official, the COVID-19 mortality rate has also dropped from 3.13 per cent on May 19 to 3.02 per cent as focus was on containment measures and clinical management of cases. The growth rate of Coronavirus cases witnessed a

steep decline from April 4 when lockdown put a brake on the speed of increase of cases, Paul said.

The number of COVID-19 cases would have risen exponentially had the lockdown not been implemented, he said, adding that the doubling rate of cases was 3.4 days when the lockdown started and it is 13.3 days at present.

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