AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat government on Monday said at present it is not thinking of imposing a total lockdown in the state as experts are not sure if such a measure will help break the chain of COVID-19 infection.
Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel said thT a full-scale lockdown can lead to large-scale job losses. "Different opinions are coming on lockdown, some experts say wear face masks, follow social distancing norms and sanitise hands and then you do not require a lockdown," Patel said addressing reporters.
"A lockdown can be an important measure to break the chain of transmission, but due to it lakhs of people become jobless," he said. Despite shutdowns, the COVID-19 spread has not been curbed in many states in India and other countries, Patel said.
"There is also no guarantee that a lockdown will definitely break the chain of infection. In many countries and (Indian) states, we have seen that even after persistent lockdowns many cases of coronavirus have emerged," Patel said.
The Deputy Chief Minister said the COVID-19 infection is spreading rapidly in the ongoing second wave. "In the first phase (in 2020), we had implemented a long lockdown to break the chain of virus. But in this second phase, the infection is spreading very fast and if you go for a partial lockdown, it will not help," he said.
"No state has approved a total lockdown...no scientist or expert has given specific opinion that a total lockdown will be helpful in breaking the infection chain," Patel said.
He said the state has already imposed night curfew in 20 cities and towns as part of measures to stem the spread of COVID-19. "People tend to get together at night unnecessarily and without any work and to stop that we have imposed night curfew," he said.
Patel said many business associations, municipalities and citizen groups have imposed self-imposed lockdowns in their areas, which is a welcome step. Gujarat reported a record 11,403 new COVID-19 cases and 117 deaths on Monday.