WHO special envoy praises India’s lockdown, says it was early and far-sighted

Based on inputs by Meeta

Dr David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) special envoy on the Corona disease, has praised India’s effort to counter it.

He has said that the lockdown in India was quite early on, when there was relatively a small number of cases identified . This was really a far-sighted decision because it gave the whole country the opportunity to come to terms with the reality of this enemy.

He also added that it was nice that people understood that there is a virus in their midst. It gave time to develop capacities at the local level for interrupting transmission and sorting out hospitals.

He said “There is a lot of debate and criticism, and inevitably with a lot of frustration and anger that life is being disturbed in this way. It is very, very upsetting. I think it is courageous of the government, honestly, to take this step and provoke this enormous public debate and let the frustration come out, to accept that there will be hundreds of millions of people whose lives are being disrupted. For poor people on daily wages, this is a massive sacrifice they are making. And to do it now at an early stage as opposed to waiting three or four weeks later when the virus is much more widespread, was very courageous.”

When asked on the European countries he added that there have been some countries where that kind of strong action was not taken early on and we see they now have to struggle with the most immense suffering.

“India is looking very, very carefully to make sure that when the lockdown is lifted, there won’t be a windfall, with lots and lots of cases, hospitals overwhelmed and a national crisis. I think that strategy is right.” He concluded

I’m asking people to consider the new norms at the same time they are imposing lockdowns because the new norms are going to be key to exiting safely from lockdowns without exposing people to disease.

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