Lockdown exit: Hoping for the best but are we prepared for the worst?
Coronavirus, the deadly contagion, which has put both our personal and economic world out of order, has lead us into a global lockdown – shutting businesses, sealing borders and restricting people’s movement. As the economies gag due the corona preventive measure many world leaders have decided to lift the lockdown, justifying their decision with ‘flatting of the curve’. But the pandemic is far from over. The relapsing of corona infected cases in Wuhan gives us the glimpse of what we might face in the near future.
As suffocating and mentally and economically draining is the lockdown, lifting it all of a sudden would prove to be equally lethal as many would step out, unknowingly getting exposed to the infection. The society would remain vulnerable till we have a vaccine in place. Till then we need to strike a balance between the health of the nation and our economy. A well planned controlled lifting of lockdown is the need of the hour.
The World Health Organisation has shared an exit strategy for the nations to decide when is the right time to open the economy.
Here are the six conditions which the nations should meet before relaxing the shutdown:
- When the disease transmission is controlled
- When health systems are able to ‘detect, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every infected contact
- When hot spot risks are reduced to minimum in places including nursing homes
- When schools, workplaces and other essential places have established preventive measures
- When the risk of importing new cases “can be managed”
- When the communities are fully educated, engaged and empowered to live under a new normal
The UK Think tank, Adam Smith Institute and the new Labour leader, Keir Starmer both advocated the call for a planned step-wise exit plan.
“A phased plan would allow companies to assess the feasibility of their operations and calculate the worth of borrowing; the longer lockdown continues, the less feasible an option this is”, the ASI report said.
“The greater the systemic loss of industry and mass unemployment, the deeper the risk of depression and the harder any economic recovery will be.”
Luminous phenomena in the sky, while the world fights COVID-19