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Stemming the tide

Stemming the tide

Over 400 confirmed cases of Coronavirus infection have been ascertained till date. The initial rate was 15 cases per day. But it has accelerated during the last three days and 92 cases were reported on Sunday during the Janta Curfew. South Korea, in its turn, did not resort to lockdowns even for a single day and contained the contagion by resorting to intensive surveillance and complete isolation of identified cases. Therefore, India should follow Korean methodology to prevent any further explosions in infection rates.

The following measures can effectively control the contagion with least efforts and without lockdown of urban areas and disruption of services, economy and governance: It is good that international flights have been banned for a week. But in order to bring back Indians stuck abroad, it would be better if arrivals were instead limited to a 1,000 people per day at different airports of India. Advance arrangements have to be made to quarantine them in specially purposed quarantine facilities for two weeks as well; District-wise list of passengers who arrived between 9th and 22nd March should be prepared and sent to respective Deputy Commissioners with the strict directions to spot them and isolate them in government-controlled quarantine camps till the expiry of their incubation periods; For people who have contracted the infection from these travellers, those around them should inform the nearest Medical Officer if symptoms arise; Lockdowns should be selective and not blanket in nature in order to avoid unwanted disruption of economic activities. The economic crisis facing the country is as serious as the infection. These measures will be able to block the spread of the viral infections. There are no other shortcuts available as of now.

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