Coronavirus update: India’s nationwide lockdown move to contain Covid-19 spread quicker than most nations, shows study
India’s response in tackling the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and imposing a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24 was quicker than almost every other country, a study by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government has found.
India is among 18 countries with a score of 100, the highest value on the Government Response Stringency Index, which records the number and strictness of government policies to contain the spread of Covid-19. The Oxford Covid-19 Government Response Tracker (OxCGRT) collects data from 73 countries, tracks and compares government responses to the outbreak worldwide.
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The United States scored 66.7, lowest among the five worst hit countries. Italy, Spain, and France have scored 95.2. India was quicker to take strict measures as by the time there were 500 cases its stringency index score was 90.5, which is more than many countries at that stage. India scored 100 by the time there were 1,000 cases and on the contrary, Italy touched 95 when cases touched nearly 50,000.
This ‘Stringency Index’ is a score assigned to countries by researchers at the University of Oxford based on seven indicators of government response — school closure, workplace closures, public event cancellation, public transport closure, public information campaigns, restriction on internal movement, and international travel controls. A higher score means a country has strict measures. Countries worst-hit by the epidemic have a lower score. The study also looks into the government’s fiscal and monetary measures and emergency investment in healthcare.
The country recorded the sharpest increase so far with 40 deaths and 1,035 new cases in the last 24 hours.