Unlock 2.0: 66% citizens believe a one-month complete lockdown in 15 high virus load districts is needed to contain COVID-19 spread in India
- • 79% citizens say a partial lockdown is needed in districts experiencing week-over-week increase in COVID-19 cases and having 500 active cases
July 6, 2020, New Delhi: With 700,000 cases, India has now become the 3rd worst hit country from COVID-19. With almost 25,000 cases per day and India adding one lakh cases in 405 days, the situation is going from bad to worse as far as the number of new COVID-19 cases are concerned. Citizens have been raising the need for India’s high virus load districts to go into complete lockdown so the chain of virus spread is broken. However, most State Governments and local district authorities continue to open more activities in a bid to balance economic activity with containment of COVID-19.
Though a few administrators of the high virus load districts have acted partially on citizen recommendations and imposed lockdowns for a 2 week period or over the weekend, not a single district in the list of worst affected 15 districts have acted to implement a complete one month lockdown.
To see if citizen opinion has changed since Unlock 2.0, LocalCircles conducted a survey to get citizen pulse on lockdown on the 15 high virus load districts in India, as identified by Niti Aayog. The survey received over 16,000 votes from 233 districts of India.
With the pan-India average number of COVID-19 cases rising from 11,000 per day to 24,000 per day, the first questions asked citizens if they believe a one month complete lockdown must be implemented in the top 15 high virus load districts of India to contain the spread. 66% respondents answered in a ‘yes’ while 27% answered in a ‘no’. 7% were unsure about it.
Unlock 2.0: 66% citizens believe a one month complete lockdown in 15 high virus load districts is needed to contain COVID-19 spread in India
The top 15 districts with highest virus load as identified by Niti Aayog include Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Indore, Kolkata, Jaipur, Surat, Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, Gurugram and Chengalpattu.
The comparison shows that the percentage of people wanting a complete lockdown in high viral load districts which stood at 74% on 12th June, has reduced a little, but is still very high at 66%.
Unlock 2.0 Citizen Pulse: Percentage of citizens in favour of complete lockdown in high virus load districts still very high at 66%
Presently, Delhi has over 400 containment zones and Mumbai has over 750 containment zones. Tamil Nadu also has over 700 containment zones across 26 districts in the state.
Citizens were also asked besides the high virus load districts, what should be the approach to contain COVID-19 spread in districts with week-over-week case growth and 500 active cases. 22% said a complete lockdown should be imposed while 58% said a partial lockdown should be imposed where shops for essentials and offices, factories stay open, and rest everything stays shut. 12% said there should be no Lockdown at all, while 6% said there should be no Lockdown at all except night curfew.
Unlock 2.0: 79% citizens believe atleast a partial lockdown is needed in districts experiencing week over week increase in COVID-19 cases and having 500 active cases
India reported more than 3.5 lakh Coronavirus cases during Unlock 1.0. Although the COVID-19 recovery rate in India has improved to 60.25 percent, India is now the 3rd worst hit country with over 2.5 lakh active cases and more than 19,000 deaths. The Centre last week announced the guidelines for Unlock 2.0, which will be in force till end of July. Almost all activities have been allowed outside the containment zones, barring a few like metro services, opening of schools and colleges, gyms, bars, etc.
The results of the survey show that majority of the citizens are in favour of re-imposing a strict lockdown in the 15 high viral load districts so that the spread of COVID-19 in the country could be slowed down. LocalCircles will be sharing these recommendations with State and District Leadership in these states sensitising them about what people feel and urge them to act accordingly.
16,000+ responses were received from 233 districts of India. 62% respondents were men while 38% respondents were women. 48% respondents were from tier 1, 39% from tier 2 and 13% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts. They survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants are validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.