Lockdown 5.0- Why we should stay home during lockdown

June 26, 2020

Lockdown 5.0- Why we should stay home during lockdown
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A lockdown is an emergency protocol that is implemented during an epidemic to halt or limit the spread of a highly infectious disease. COVID-19 pandemic has locked down the whole world. As we go into lockdown 5.0, let’s take a moment to understand its importance and what it can achieve.

COVID-19 is highly infectious because:

  • It is a respiratory disease and spreads rapidly when droplets expelled by an infected person enters our mouth or nose
  • Only a small percentage of infected people require hospitalisation and Intensive care
  • It does not cause severe symptoms in about 80% of people infected
  • A majority of the infected people are asymptomatic, meaning they do not have any symptoms
  • Even asymptomatic people can spread the disease

These factors make COVID-19 a deadly disease. As the disease goes undetected, not every infected person will seek medical help. It goes unnoticed in the vast majority of the people infected and they silently go about spreading the disease to all their contacts. One asymptomatic person can infect 2.5 people and each of the infected persons can spread it to 2.5 people, so the rate of infection after a point grows exponentially. With our population and population density, if the disease spreads unchecked we will soon have an infected population in crores, even the small percentage of which requiring hospitalisation would overwhelm our healthcare system. The death toll would be unimaginable.

SARS and MERS were less infectious and more deadly. Their fatality rate was much higher than that of COVID-19, but COVID-19 surpasses the death toll of both due to the sheer number of infections.

What would a lockdown accomplish?

Avoid the sudden spurt of infection

Social distancing is the best way to slow down the virus. As the virus spreads through respiratory droplets, a lockdown is the best method of containment. If the vast majority of the population maintains strict social distancing by staying home, the virus will slow down as it will not find hosts to infect.

Studies have shown that with no restrictions at all, the number of critically ill COVID patients would outnumber the available hospital facilities resulting in lakhs of death. This number would be drastically reduced if strict lockdown and social distancing measures are followed.

Buy time to upscale facilities

When lockdown measures are followed, the spread of the virus is greatly slowed down. This gives the healthcare system time to scale up facilities to meet the projected demand so that when the cases do rise, as they inevitably will, we are ready to deliver the best care to the most number of patients.

Allow time for research 

As the virus is new, ongoing research gives us greater understanding every day. We are more prepared to deal with the disease and its complications today in June 2020 than we were in February 2020.

Things we know about COVID-19 today 

  1. COVID kills by forming blood clots in blood vessels in the lungs and other parts of the body.
  2. Happy Hypoxia causes gradual reduction of oxygen saturation in blood without causing breathlessness. We can use a simple pulse oxymeter to read the oxygen saturation and rush to hospital if it drops to less than 93%.
  3. We know today that a few antiviral may have a role , trials are still ongoing.
  4. We know that Steroids used to treat inflammation can prevent Cytokine Strom, our bodies exaggerated response that is more deadly than the virus. May have a role

Until the time a vaccine or medicine for COVID-19 is discovered, the virus is here to stay. As we slow it down in one area, it will break out in another. Lockdowns are measures that will considerably slow down the virus by isolating the hosts, humans, from the virus.

The previous lockdowns bought us time, but as they were not strictly followed, the results have been mixed. Lockdown 5.0 is another chance to subdue the infectious virus. Studies have shown that if 90% of the public follow the rules strictly, the disease will stop within 5 months. On the other hand, if only 70% people follow the guidelines, the disease will subside only after 9 months.

So how soon we can lift the lockdown is really in our hands.

What you should do during the lockdown to make it effective

  • Stay home during the lockdown
  • Go out only for medical emergencies or essentials
  • Make a list of provisions and groceries and stock up for the period
  • Stock up on your prescription medications
  • Do not venture out every day for shopping essentials
  • Always wear a mask when you step out of your house
  • Carry a hand sanitiser and use it every time you touch frequently touched surfaces
  • Clean and sanitise frequently touched surfaces in your home
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • If you have any symptom isolate yourself in your home and contact the helpline
  • If you have been advised home quarantine, strictly follow to the instructions

If every single person adheres to these guidelines then we can reduce person-to-person contact to minimum. This will drastically reduce the rate of transmission of the virus from person to person.

Let’s follow the lockdown guidelines and flatten the COVID curve.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.



Dr. Vidyalakshmi Devarajan

Dr. Vidyalakshmi Devarajan

DNB (Gen Med) FNB (ID) Fellowship (ID) SCE (UK)

Senior Consultant Infectious Diseases

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