New Delhi: Microbiologists Society president Dr A.M. Deshmukh has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to extend the Janata curfew for a period of two weeks to control the coronavirus pandemic.
Representing the Microbiologists Society, India, Deshmukh wrote, “The Microbiologists Society sincerely appreciate the efforts you are taking to control coronavirus, a pandemic disease. We urge you to implement Janata Curfew for 14 more days to break the chain as 14 days is considered to be the maximum incubation period for this virus.”
He added that the microbiologists “are sure” that implementation of the Janata Curfew for continuous 14 days will control the outbreak and “succeed to bring the outbreak in reverse direction”.
Deshmukh also warned that the situation will be “unmanageable” by the last week of April if not taken seriously.
Speaking to ThePrint, Deshmukh explained that neither China, nor Italy or Iran took COVID-19 seriously. “And now, the Indian public is also not taking the virus seriously. Moreover, India does not have the health systems which China and Italy have,” he said.
Deshmukh added, “The one-day curfew helped a lot and now we need to extend it to 14 days. If we do, then India will not have a single new case.”
According to his calculations, he said, India will record 1,000 positive coronavirus cases by 30 March.
The total number of cases in India doubled over the last three days. On 20 March, India reported 206 cases, while the cases surged to 415 on 23 March.
Clear progression in number of #COVID19 cases in India.
India reports total of 415 positive cases as on 23 March, 10:00 AM. On March 20, India had 206 cases.
— Himani Chandna (@ChandnaHimani) March 23, 2020
Isolation vs testing
According to Deshmukh, the Indian government is taking all the right measures to curb the spread of the virus but society needs to take the pandemic more seriously.
“The problem is that people still think that they will not get infected,” he said.
Deshmukh went on to say that between isolation and testing, the former was more effective in controlling the pandemic.
“I may not test positive for COVID-19 today, but might four days later. Therefore practising self-isolation is the best way to curb the spread of the virus.”
About Microbiologists Society, India
The Microbiologists Society, India, which Deshmukh heads, was established in March 1996 and registered in November 1996 in Satara in Maharashtra. According to its website, any person who is a graduate in life sciences and is interested in microbiology can enroll as a member of the society.
Its aims and objectives are to cultivate a link between governmental and non-governmental institutions such as academies, societies and other organisations in the field of microbiology, and also advise the government and its agencies on microbiological problems of public interest, according to the website.
Deshmukh said the society has approximately over 300 life members. Tt also has branches in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and the US.
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