New Delhi: The nationwide lockdown which was imposed on March 25 to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 is all set to get a new extension from May 18 as the three phases of consecutive lockdown come to an end tomorrow. The number of cases, meanwhile, has gone up — crossing the total tally of China, where the virus was first detected. Also Read - Delhi News: Capital Registers Record Single-day Spike of 1,513 Cases, Total Tally Crosses 23,000-mark

So, has the lockdowns helped? Also Read - Delhi Makes 7-Day Home Quarantine Must For All Passengers Coming to Capital By Flights, Trains, Buses

The updated containment strategy released by the health ministry says the current geographical distribution of COVID-19 mimics the distribution of H1N1 pandemic influenza geographic distribution of COVID-19 mimics the distribution of H1N1 Pandemic Influenza. This suggests that while the spread of COVID-19in our population could be high, it’s unlikely that it will be uniformly affecting all parts of the country. This calls for a differential approach to different regions of the country while mounting a strong containment effort in hot spots. Also Read - Nepal's Coronavirus Cases Reach 2,300; Death Toll Rises to 9

Large scale measures to contain COVID-19over large territories have been tried in China. Mathematical modelling studies have suggested that containment might be possible especially when other public health interventions are combined with an effective social distancing strategy, the document said.

In 2009, during the H1N1 Influenza pandemic, it was observed that well-connected big cities with substantive population movement were reporting a large number of cases, whereas rural areas and smaller towns with low population densities and relatively poor road/rail/airway connectivity were reporting only a few cases.

As India is looking at more relaxations in lockdown 4.0, several municipal zones have been identified for stronger lockdown. Brihanmumbai or Greater Mumbai, Greater Chennai, Ahmedabad, Thane, Delhi, Indore, Pune, Kolkata, Jaipur, Nashik, Jodhpur, Agra, Tiruvallur, Aurangabad, Cuddalore, Greater Hyderabad, Surat, Chengalpattu, Ariyalur, Howrah, Kurnool, Bhopal, Amritsar, Villupuram, Vadodara, Udaipur, Palghar, Berhampur, Solapur and Meerut will continue with the lockdown.