COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness and Control Measures by India: The Nationwide Lockdown and Impact

The year 2019 was drawing to a close, and a new coronovirus would usher in the New Year. COVID-19, a new Coronavirus, was declared a PHEIC and then a Pandemic on March 11th, 2020. The disease’s symptoms are similar to those of the flu (influenza) or a common cold, both of which are significantly more common than COVID-19. In more serious cases, an infection may show as pneumonia or abrupt onset dyspnea, with transmission occurring through direct contact with respiratory droplets. The Indian government was important in swift action from the time this illness was simply an epidemic and had yet to be declared a pandemic. The Indian government (GOI) began taking initiatives to improve the situation. Screening of international travellers, surveillance through the IDSP network, 14-day entry quarantine, suspension of entry of any foreign nationals from the PRC, establishment of a control room, and other measures are being taken to postpone the inevitable outcome and buy time for the health department to implement mitigation measures. The Government of India had proactively responded to the ‘Test, Track, and Treat’ plan. It included expanding lab facilities, including the business sector, declaring masks and sanitizers as vital commodities, establishing RRTs in states, testing at the most number of places possible, contact tracing of positives, and active monitoring in a select areas of the country. India has learned a valuable lesson. Learning from other nations, the social vaccine was adopted as a temporary remedy until the vaccine was available. The benefits of non-pharmacological therapies were recognised and disseminated to the general public through a variety of IEC initiatives. All of these steps were performed prior to the enactment of the ‘LOCKDOWN’ on March 24, 2020. Although the lockdown had many unintended repercussions, the GOI saw it as the only preventive step available to stem the tide. The lockdown had no effect on the delivery of life-saving medical services. All government and private health care facilities were inspected. The social vaccination was adopted as a temporary treatment until the vaccine was ready, based on lessons learned from other countries. Through a number of IEC activities, the benefits of non-pharmacological therapy were recognised and conveyed to the general public. Prior to the enactment of the ‘LOCKDOWN’ on March 24, 2020, all of these stages were completed. The GOI saw the lockdown as the only preventive measure available to stem the tide, despite its many unforeseen consequences. The lockdown had no impact on the provision of life-saving medical assistance. All health-care facilities, both public and private, were inspected.

Author (S) Details

Dr. Saurabh Rattan
CMO Office, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India.

Dr. Anmol Gupta,
Department of Community Medicine, IGMC, Shimla, India.

Dr. Gopal Ashish Sharma
Department of Community Medicine, IGMC, Shimla, India.

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