COVID-19 Outbreak:- Why do we need a lockdown in such times?

India is on a verge of complete lockdown as the count of COVID-19 cases has been confirmed to be 349 as of 10:30 a.m on Monday Morning, the 23rd March 2020. Already a few of these states have implemented Statewide lockdown till the 31st of March, 2020. These states include 

  1. Punjab: 21 cases, 
  2. Nagaland:- Zero cases (on lockdown for an indefinite period), 
  3. Uttarakhand: 3 cases,
  4.  Delhi:  29 cases, 
  5. Telangana:  26 cases, 
  6. Andhra Pradesh: 6 cases,
  7. Rajasthan: 25 cases,

Other affected states have introduced Partial Lockdown, i.e., lockdown only in the affected districts. The states with partial lockdown are Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. 

As of date, 75 districts in the country have reported COVID-19 cases. 

But one might question: Why do we need complete lockdown? 

First, we ought to know how mass contamination works. 

The citizens can be divided into four primary categories:

  • Category 1:- These kinds of people are generally the carriers. They fly in/travel from affected countries with the strains of the virus in them. They are easy to identify based on the symptoms they display. 
  • Category 2:- These are the people with whom the carriers come in contact. Let’s say for example, Preiti has  COVID-19 strain inside of her. She goes and meets her friends and family and contaminates them too. Hence, her friends and family belong to this category. These also can be easily identified as there is contact tracing once the carrier starts showing symptoms. 
  • Category 3:- This category consists of people who come in contact with people with Category 1 unknowingly. It could be during flights and other transportations, in food hubs, on the road, and in other public places. Simply, they are strangers to the carriers. 
  • Category 4:- The people in this category have been inside their homes since day 1 of the outbreak and hardly come out. They are prone to very low risk.

If we compare the risk probabilities of all the categories, it is derived that Category 3 people are the ones with the highest risk.
It is because both category 1 and 2 can be identified, quarantined and observed in isolation, and category 4 has negligible risks. It leaves us with Category 3.
People who get affected randomly, especially in public areas, or areas of mass gathering are difficult to trace. There could be hundreds, or thousands of them affected and yet not showing symptoms.

How do you find all of them??

With complete lockdown and social distancing, every one of the category 3 people would be in their homes and symptoms can be observed. The usual incubation period is two weeks. In this period, symptoms would begin to appear. Further, they are quarantined and observed respectively. 
Moreover, their chances to contaminate further to more people is significantly reduced. 

Worst case Scenario:- If suppose the government and its officials are successful in identifying the victims, the healthcare facilities in India are not enough to quarantine and treat every individual getting affected along the way.
If there are no lockdown or social distancing measures taken, India expects a peak mortality in just three months.

Self-quarantine can not only save you, but millions in our country. Stay Home. Stay Safe.