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India faces huge COVID-19 burden absent more testing

Friday, March 27, 2020

Subject

India's attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Significance

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 announced a 21-day lockdown in response to the COVID-19 crisis, describing this as a “curfew” for India’s 1.3 billion people. Although people can leave their homes to procure essentials such as food and medicine, and certain key services are exempt from the shutdown, the aim of the drastic measure is to prevent community spread of the coronavirus, through social distancing. India has recorded little more than 700 cases of COVID-19, but it has undertaken only limited testing for infection.

Impacts

  • The government will aim to curtail the spread of misinformation about COVID-19, such as pseudoscientific theories about possible cures.
  • People attacking healthcare professionals due to fears they may spread the coronavirus will face strong punitive action from authorities.
  • A stimulus package announced by Delhi yesterday should ease some concerns among daily-wage earners about food security amid the lockdown.
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