ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Regional Lockdown Policies and COVID-19 Transmission in India

Do lockdowns and mobility restrictions contain the spread of COVID-19? Data was collected on district-level non-pharmaceutical interventions, using government notifications and news reports, in six major Indian states to assess the impact of NPIs on COVID-19 transmission and fatality in 2020. Findings suggest that NPIs slowed COVID-19 death rates in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Interventions that were most associated with slowing fatalities were temple closures, retail closures, and curfews. Even with incomplete compliance, limiting mass gatherings in face of incipient viral waves may save lives.

 

The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in India on 30 January 2020 in Kerala. As the case count accelerated into March, the government put in place a multidimensional national lockdown beginning on 22 March, which was dismantled in a heterogeneous fashion acr­oss the country. The summer of 2020 was characterised by a range of adaptive policy regimes (Malani et al 2020), with gradual reopenings and interspersed activity restrictions in response to changes in disease spread. By the end of 2020, seroprevalence surveys suggested cumulative infection rates in excess of 50% in many parts of the country.

A steady reopening into 2021 was foll­owed by the worst wave of the pandemic thus far, triggering a new round of lockdowns around the country. At the time of writing, a third wave is feared and anticipated, and state governments are continuing to discuss the costs and benefits of restrictions on social behaviour. A detailed analysis of the effects of such restrictions on COVID-19 mortality remains important for current policy discussions.1

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Updated On : 4th Apr, 2022
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