Nationwide lockdown could be extended till Sept in India: Boston Consulting Group report

People on streets to buy essential commodities after PM Modi's lockdown announcement. (Photo: India Today). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Apr 4, 2020, Business Today. India is unlikely to unwind its nationwide coronavirus lockdown on April 14, rather the restriction could be extended till the middle of September, according to a new study by American consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG). India will start lifting COVID-19 lockdown only between the fourth week of June and the second week of September, says the report, Business Today reported.

The delay in lifting the restrictions was attributed to challenges faced by India in terms of health system preparedness and record of public policy effectiveness. The report also suggested that India might witness a peak in the number of coronavirus cases by the third week of June.

The lockdown in India started in line with China’s timing of the lockdown, the report said.

“The report represents estimates as of March 25, based on BCG predictive modelling leveraging John Hopkins University data,” the American consultancy firm said.

Earlier on Monday, the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba had clarified that the government had no plan to further extend the 21-day nationwide lockdown, which ends on April 14.

After a day’s Janata Curfew on March 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a countrywide lockdown for a period of 3 weeks, starting March 25, in line with similar restrictions imposed by China, where the coronavirus originated. The government ordered people to stay confined in their homes except for essential outings from March 25 until at least April 14 to control the spread of coronavirus pandemic in India.

So far, the cases of people suffering from coronavirus disease have risen to 2,088 in India, excluding 156 cured or discharged and 56 deaths, according to Health and Family Welfare Ministry data released on Friday. Worldwide, coronavirus has claimed over 55,000 lives with case count surpassing 10 lakh.

According to Data Intelligence Unit at India Today, the novel coronavirus contagion is likely to infect the younger population in India unlike other countries where older people are more vulnerable to the disease.

BCG issued a clarification refuting the extension. “A BCG document, illustrating one scenario of how the COVID-19 virus might progress globally, has been circulating publicly without context or authorisation from BCG. This document does not represent an ‘official BCG view’ nor does it purport to state how the pandemic will pan out,” BCG stated.

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