2/3rd wants strict lockdown in 49 high load districts: Survey

With daily caseload rising by 600 per cent in 60 days, people are greatly concerned about India's current approach towards containment of COVID-19.

New Delhi: Worried over the rising number of cases, 69 per cent feel a stringent lockdown in 49 districts which have Indias 80 per cent caseload is needed to contain the spread of COVID 19, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

With daily caseload rising by 600 per cent in 60 days, people are greatly concerned about India’s current approach towards containment of COVID-19.

As per the survey, 68 per cent citizens believe weekend lockdowns have a negligible or minor impact in containing the spread of COVID 19.

As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) report last week, 49 districts now contribute to 80 per cent of India’s COVID-19 spread.

The survey asked citizens how these 49 districts should be managed to contain COVID-19. In response, 46 per cent said Top of Form a complete lockdown should be implemented for three weeks or more (home delivery of essentials and all activities closed), while 23 per cent said a lockdown should be implemented like it was done between March 25 to May 3.

Only 9 per cent said weekend lockdowns should be implemented for the next three months while 13 per cent said no action needed and Government should continue with Unlock 2.0. 8 per cent also announced a full normal functioning should be resumed and we should learn to live with

the virus.

This means that 69% of citizens feel a stringent lockdown in 49 districts which have India’s 80 per cent caseload is needed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Chennai had implemented a complete lockdown from June 19 – July 5. For Chennai, the number of cases has reduced by almost 50 per cent from the 2,400-2,500 per day range in third week of June to 1200 in the second week of July.

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In the Chennai lockdown, essential services were functioning, and according to some Local Circles members in Chennai, the impact would have been even higher had Chennai shut shops for crucial services and operated a home delivery model for essentials.

Several cities and districts of Maharashtra have announced a similar ten-day lockdown, and some Local Circles members from Pune have already given it a thumbs up.

While many businesses are opposed to the idea of lockdown, citizens are bright that it is critical to breaking the chain of COVID 19 spread. Some other companies also stated that instead of 20-30 per

cent business volumes because of much lower footfalls in the market, it is better to shut things for three weeks and restart activity at a larger scale when people are not as fearful of stepping out.

Given that India has experienced cases rise 600 per cent from 4,000 during the second week of May and end of Lockdown 3.0 to approximately 28,000 during the second week of July, status quo is not an option.

This is why people continue to believe that unless the spread of COVID-19 is contained in these high load districts, India will soon surpass the USA in terms of daily cases and become the most impacted the country in the world from COVID-19.

Over two-thirds of the citizens in the survey believe that these weekend lockdowns have no or little effectivity and instead, a targeted 3-4 week lockdown in all districts that make up 80 per cent of India’s caseload is the best way forward.

The number of daily Coronavirus cases in India has breached the 27,000 marks. The Uttar Pradesh Government recently announced a 2-day’ weekend lockdown’ in a bid to contain the steadily rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.

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Experts are calling it a hasty move whereas the state says it wants to restrict non-essential movement that increases over weekends and ensure the successful screening of every household in the country.

Odisha has also announced the weekend shutdown in 10 districts with high caseload recently. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a stricter lockdown on weekends and public holidays, with movement to be restricted to e-pass holders.

Similarly, in Madhya Pradesh, cities like Bhopal and Indore have been observing a weekend lockdown and are now implementing a Sunday lockdown across the state.

LocalCircles surveyed to get a citizen perspective on what they feel about such weekend lockdowns and if there could be a better way to implement new lockdowns. The survey received over 16,000 votes from 201 districts of India.

Since several states and districts are implementing partial weekend lockdowns, the first question asked if they believe such lockdowns are useful in containing the spread of COVID-19. 28 per cent said yes, and the impact is good, and 24 per cent said yes but the effect is minor, while forty-four per cent said no, they are meaningless. While 4 per cent did not have an opinion.

This means that 68 per cent citizens believe weekend lockdowns have negligible

or minor impact on containing the spread of COVID-19. In the earlier LocalCircles polls, 66-74 per cent citizens in the last three weeks have been consistently saying that there should be a complete lockdown in the 15 high viral load districts in India.

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