BCG sees India lockdown till fourth week of June

BCG sees India lockdown till fourth week of June
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Cites poor healthcare system which may prolong the lockdown pain till Sept 2nd week

Hyderabad: Will the lockdown pain haunt India longer than expected? It looks like so with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) projecting that India may have to remain in the lockdown mode at least till the fourth week of June.

Further, there are ample chances of the lockdown extending up to 2nd week of September, the upper limit BCG has set for the country for reining in COVID-19.

"We expect the lockdown (in India) to be lifted between W4 June and W2 September. Longer range for India is as result of expected added challenge in India due to health system preparedness and record of public policy effectiveness," BCG said in its recent report titled 'Epidemic Projections: COVID-19 response".

The global management consultancy firm however informed The Hans India that the report was not its official view. In the report, it forecast that COVID-19 cases in India would peak in third week of June when the country would report nearly 10,000 cases per day.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao cited the study during his media interaction on Monday when he underlined the need for extending the lockdown, but some wrongly interpreted that the global consultancy firm recommended for the extension of lockdown in India till June 3.

The Modi government announced a 21-day national lockdown on March 24, two days after the country observed Janata Curfew on March 22.

The 21-day lockdown aiming at containing the spread of novel coronavirus through social distancing, will end on April 14. So far, the central government has not given any indication on the extension though some States including Telangana are batting for it.

The 32-page BCG report also observed that the lockdown announced by India on March 24 coincided with 10th death caused by COVID-19 in the country on March 25, which was in line with China's timing on lockdown.

Apart from India, the management consultancy firm forecast lockdown end time for 19 other countries which are battling COVID-19 pandemic that as of Tuesday infected 1.34 million people and claimed 75,000 worldwide.

As per the report, novel coronavirus cases will peak in the US by the first week of May and the superpower will come out of lockdown anytime between June second week and the third week of July, which is much faster than India.

The potential lockdown end dates were estimated by BCG, basing the experience of China and duration of Hubei/Wuhan lockdowns in the communist country.

On January 23, China imposed lockdown in Hubei province and its capital Wuhan where the deadly virus originated. The lockdown has since been lifted there.

The second factor is the country-specific adjustment based on health system assessment and government effectiveness which includes in-patient hospital beds per population.

The study also considered deaths from diseases of respiratory systems and regulatory quality in each of 20 countries for making forecasts.

It sourced inputs from Coronavirus Resource Centre of John Hopkins University.When contacted by The Hans India, a spokesperson from BCG India, in a statement, maintained that it was not an official view from BCG as it "is an internal working document based on one set of data and not authorized for public release".

"A BCG document, illustrating one scenario of how the COVID-19 virus might progress globally, has been circulating publicly without context or authorization from BCG.

The projections contained in the document vary by 100-1000x, and were built to study one range of possible outcomes," the BCG statement said.

"BCG regularly does scenario planning to support our clients with all kinds of business issues. We analyze internally and externally gathered data to formulate these scenarios.

For this unprecedented pandemic, with its extreme level of uncertainty, BCG does not claim to provide predictions about duration of lockdown, peak of viral infections, the efficacy of health systems, or other health and societal impacts," it added.

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