New Delhi: After generating awareness on the coronavirus pandemic through social messaging platforms, nobel laureate couple Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee have listed nine steps for the 21-day lockdown period. In an article in The Indian Express, the duo mentioned their observations in nine points after holding a quick survey in Karnataka survey, which hinted that people were aware of the disease but have no understanding of do’s and dont’s. Also Read - Unlock 1: Over 9,800 Cases Recorded in Last 24 Hours; Religious Institutions Prepare For Staggered Opening
Here are their nine points: Also Read - Once Team Management Decides Something, I Don't Think There Should be a Place For Contrarian View: Wriddhiman Saha
(1) If the lockdown works in flattering the curve and combat the overall spread of COVID-19, the disease will continue to widen its ambit, as unknowing carriers reach new populations. Also Read - Coronavirus: Amid Surge in Cases in Capital, Delhi Government Issues New SOPs For COVID Hospitals | Read Here
Invisible agents tough to be identified and as a result, the number of such apparently innocent contacts can be large; the son who comes home from Delhi could infect the entire extended family before it gets discovered.
(2) There are places where stemming the spread of the disease will be very hard, once someone has it. Proper social distancing and complete lockdowns are just very hard to achieve, for example, in many urban slums.
(3) The way the lockdown has started, it proves that almost no one has immunity. The Nobel laureate couple claimed that as long as the disease is not fully contained in the next three weeks, which is very unlikely, the spread of the disease will accelerate after the curfew is lifted.
(4) They also stressed on training the rural health practitioners (including the unqualified) that can detect symptoms and also report them to the relevant authorities.
(5) The couple, in the fifth point, mentioned about collation of reports timely with efficiency.
(6) They stressed on a large mobile team of health professionals, doctors and nurses, with testing kits and, ideally, ventilators and other equipment in every state. The idea is a part of this team will be quickly deployed wherever the number of reports seems to be growing fast (including in nearby areas in other states).
(7) In the seventh point, Banerjee and Duflo asked the system to make sure that the team has access to the necessary equipment needed by all health professionals and not just those who work for the government.
(8) The duo demands that the government should be bolder with the social transfers schemes. “Without that, the demand crisis will snowball into an economic avalanche, and people will have no choice but to defy orders”, they warned.
(9) Lastly, they cautioned the government about the continuing of this “war effort” until the vaccine comes. After vaccination the government must start to upgrade the healthcare system — “let us be better prepared for the next time”.