Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lockdown or MCZ for Covid control

 In March 2020, India had only a few hundred Covid cases. That is when a nation-wide lockdown was announced, giving people hardly 3 hours notice.  The economy crashed and migration pangs shook the world. It is widely believed that Micro-Containment Zones (MCZ) - an approach of localized containment of people - would have served India better.

In April 2021, India is adding about 350,000 new cases every day - with fears of it going upto 500,000 new cases per day. The Central Government is suggesting that states should prefer MCZ strategy - and adopt lockdown as a last resort. With this kind of build up of cases, is MCZ even practical? 

Many Indian states are governed by the same party as the Central Government; a few others are governed by the opposition.  The former states avoided lockdowns - and saw their cases spiral; some of the opposition-ruled states went for lockdown (by whatever name called). At least the ones that adopted a lockdown early are seeing their new cases plateau.

The writing is perhaps on the wall, and the tide seems to be turning.  A southern state which is ruled by the party at the center has finally announced a lockdown.

Wonder if the Central Government is carrying forward its learning from the past, when the ground reality has changed drastically. Time to update the tool kit?

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