Did night curfew, weekend curfew help in containing Omicron? What this Bengaluru study says

By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh
Jan 30, 2022 08:00 PM IST

Night curfew, weekend lockdown only delays the spread as scientists said Omicron would eventually spread and impact the same number of people with or without mobility restrictions. 

A Bengaluru-specific study has revealed that night curfew and weekend curfew slowed and delayed the spread of Omicron at best. "Omicron eventually spreads and affects nearly as much of the population as it would have without the restrictions," the case study conducted by experts from the Indian Statistical Institute, Indian Institute of Science and University of Virginia's Biolcomplexity Institute said.

Weekend curfew, night lockdown have little impact in containing the spread of Omicron, a recent study has found. (PTI)
Weekend curfew, night lockdown have little impact in containing the spread of Omicron, a recent study has found. (PTI)

In the first week of January, the number of Covid infections across the country increased, restrictions like weekend lockdown, night curfew were brought back. Whether these restrictions work remains a contentious issue as many experts have, in past, questioned how these restrictions contain the spread of the infection.

Karnataka lifts night curfew, Bengaluru schools to reopen from January 31

The researchers said they used community mobility reports published by Google and then they quantified the impact o such restriction via a simulation study. And this study said the restrictions have slowed down the spread as Omicron would reach the same number of people with or without the restrictions.

Using mathematical models, the study confirmed that the benefit of the mobility restrictions is to flatten the curve and reduce the peak. And once the curve is flattened, the daily demand for hospitals beds reduce. It also said that once the peak of the wave is past, the usefulness of the restrictions is limited.

“If Karnataka cases trajectory follows the SA trend and hospitalisation is similar to that observed in well-vaccinated countries, the healthcare requirement is likely within capacity when the caseload peaks, with or without the mobility restrictions,” the study noted. 

Karnataka is going for a reopening starting from January 31 with all schools in Bengaluru reopening. The government has also withdrawn weekend lockdown and night curfew.

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