Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference through Zoom video conferencing today, where again he made contradictory statements on the coronavirus lockdown. While the Gandhi scion termed the lockdown as a failure in controlling the spread of Coronavirus, he criticised the govt for gradually lifting the lockdown.
Rahul Gandhi claimed that the nationwide lockdown was supposed to eradicate the Coronavirus infection in the country, but that didn’t happen. It seems he completely misunderstood the purpose of the lockdown. The lockdown was not supposed to end the infection completely, it was supposed to slow the growth of the disease, and that has been achieved to a large extent. Nobody claimed that emergence of new cases will stop due to the lockdown, as that is not possible with such a highly contagious virus like the Wuhan Coronavirus.
It may be remembered that when the Coronavirus had started to grow in March, the statistical models developed by many experts had predicted millions of cases in India by the month of May. This analysis published by The Print on 23rd March had predicted more than 9 lakh positive cases and more than31000 deaths by May 31.
Ramanan Laxminarayan of Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) in the USA, who is had studied Economist but was projected as a health expert doctor by a section of India media, had projected even worse numbers. In an interview with controversial journalist Barkha Dutt, he had claimed that India will see 300 to 500 million cases by July, and 1-2 million deaths. The CDDEP had predicted that India will have 250 million cases by April-May if Lockdown was total failure, and 120 million cases, or 12 crore, if lockdown was successful.
Currently we have around 1.45 lakh cases, no doubt a high number, but this number is much lower than what the mathematical models had predicted two months ago. Therefore, it is completely wrong to claim that lockdown has failed. If Lockdown was not implemented, we would have seen much more cases than we had seen today.
While Rahul Gandhi claimed that lockdown had failed to achieve its desired purpose, he also criticised the govt for relaxing it. He said that we are the only country where the virus is exponentially rising and we are removing the lockdown. Earlier too he had spoken against lockdown. In mid-April, he had said that lockdown can’t defeat coronavirus, but now he is criticising the Modi government for lifting lockdown. This is a complete change in position in just one month.
While it is true that new cases emerging every day, it is wrong to claiming it is growing exponentially like Rahul Gandhi said. If the Coronavirus was growing exponentially in India, we would have seen millions of cases as predicted by the experts using statistical models.
It is also important to note that lockdown was successful in containing the coronavirus almost completely in the majority of states, it was growing only in few states. The recent rise in cases in other cases are due to migrants returning from those high coronavirus states to their native states. As these migrants are kept in quarantine, even if the numbers are rising, they don’t pose a risk of community transmission, and that’s why the lockdown can be lifted in those states.