24 March 2020
Bhubaneswar: Odisha government's Chief spokesperson on COVID-19 Subroto Bagchi today used compelling statistics to give a vivid picture of the enormity of the challenges ahead and the justification for the complete lockdown of the State.
Basing on the inference drawn from the situation experienced in America and Italy, Bagchi said that COVID-19 enters a country with a very small number of infected persons which unexpectedly explodes.
The Chief spokesperson stated that in most of the places it is seen that infection is spreading through persons who are asymptomatic.
Bagchi used a slide showing a graph to tell how the number of infected persons with COVID-19 is growing exponentially in India, the number which started at 1 in January grew to 3 and remained constant for some time and suddenly one day towards March 3 it went up to 6 and the very next day (March 4) it jumped to 28 and on March 10 it doubled and towards March 13-14 it touched 107 and on March 18 it jumped to 223.
"Till March 3 it was giving us a false notion through deception that there is nothing to get concerned, if we take the experience of of any of the countries like Italy, America, France, Germany or China and if the graph goes on increasing in this fashion we have to especially take strong to strongest measures," he warned.
He said all those countries which have been affected have taken strong to strongest steps.
"The explosion that is going to take place as per the projection shown in the slide if contagion takes place by May end at least 58,643 persons are likely to be infected in a subcontinent like India according to a conservative estimate if we manage to wriggle out with the best of the circumstances but if we go by a realistic estimate about 10 lakh people are likely to be infected in India," Bagchi stated.
If the number of infected persons turns out to be 58,643 in India by the conservative estimate the number of persons infected in Odisha taking it's population at 4.5 crore at least 2,345 persons are likely to be infected with the deadly virus and with about 10 lakh infected persons in India the figure in Odisha can go up to at least 36,000," he added while saying that his intention is not to create a sense of fear.
The Chief spokesperson said in clear terms that we should all know that COVID-19 is going to have a big impact on the economy and there is no doubt on this but it's not the time to consider impact on the economy or what losses I sustained, this is the time to save human lives and if life is saved the economy will revive.
"In order to save lives we had to go for lockdown in all the three districts. The lockdown has been largely successful about 90% I would put it," he stated.
Referring to instances of youth moving on scooters by bunking the police during lockdown, Bagchi said, "This is not the time to play hide and seek with the police and we should keep in mind that corona is searching for you and me on the streets".
He showed pictures of deserted roads of Wuhan city of China, Times Square of America, the bridge over Thames river in London and Sydney in Australia to drive home the meaning of what exactly a lockdown is.
Bagchi warned if we do not manage ourselves, the old and especially those suffering from blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases, cancer etc will be the first to fall victim to COVID-19.