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Centre explains urgency to impose national lockdown with just four hours notice

The government said the decision to impose a lockdown was taken on recommendations from the experts. The short notice was to stop the untraceable movement of people from one place to another within the country.  The restricted movement helped curb the spread of Coronavirus. 

Congress MP Tiwari had asked, “What are the reasons for which the lockdown was imposed on only four hours notice on 23 March? What was the urgency for the lockdown to be implemented in such a short time in the country? How effective was this lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19? “

Minister of State for Home Nityananda Rai said in a written reply on behalf of the government that after the outbreak of coronavirus on 7 January, the government had taken several measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including restrictions on international flights and issuance of advisories.

The government said that any mass movement of the people would have spread the disease very rapidly to all parts of the country. Therefore, keeping in view the global experience, a nationwide lockdown was announced on 24 March to prevent coronavirus in the country.

Rai stated in his written reply that India successfully thwarted the aggressive proliferation of COVID-19 through the nationwide lockdown. He said the lockdown helped the country develop the necessary additional health infrastructure.

There was an increase of 22 times in isolation beds and 14 times in ICU beds compared to their availability in March 2020. At the same time, the capacity of laboratories had also increased tenfold. Rai also said in his written reply that if the government had not imposed a lockdown, 14-29 lakh more cases would have been registered in the country.