As states battle the fourth round of lockdown which started from 18 May 2020, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Friday shared insights on how lockdown has been able to downscale the number of cases and deaths in India. The ministry shared details of five modeling studies that estimated the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths averted due to lockdown.

The first modeling study was conducted by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a well known multinational consultancy firm, which used two approaches to project the number of cases and deaths averted by the lockdown. The second study was by the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) based in New Delhi. The third study was by two independent economic researchers, Shamika Ravi and Mudit Kapoor, both have been compiling and analyzing the data on COVID-19 for a long time to understand the patterns and trends of the virus. The fourth modeling study was by a group of independent experts and retired scientists viz. Arvind Pandey, R.M. Mishra, Sandip Mandal and Padum Narayan. Lastly, modeling by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) and Indian Institute Statistical Institute (ISI) was shared.

1- BCG study: The estimates by BCG study suggested that lockdown has been able to avert 36 to 70 lakh cases and 1.2 to 2.1 lakh deaths.

2- PHFI study: The study didn’t give numbers on cases but shared that lockdown has been able to avert 78000 deaths.

3- Study by Mudit Kapoor and Shamika Ravi: The modeling by two independent economic researchers highlighted that 23 lakh cases and 68000 deaths were averted by the lockdown.

4- Study by independent experts and retired scientists: The fourth modeling study highlighted that lockdown has averted 16 lakh cases and 51000 deaths.

5- MoSPI and ISI study: The joint study of MoSPI and ISI stated that lockdown has been able to avert 20 lakh cases and 54000 deaths.

Based on these five modeling studies, the government gave a broad range of 14 to 29 lakh for the cases and 37000 to 78000 for the deaths averted due to lockdown in India.

At present (23 May, 9:00 PM) India stands with more than 72000 active cases, 54001 recoveries and 3851 deaths. On Friday, India registered the highest single-day spike in the cases – 6088. Till date, the government has tested 28.34 lakh samples and 1.15 lakh samples have been tested in the last 24 hours. With the phase-wise re-opening of cities and towns, states are witnessing a sudden increase in the number of new cases. Government’s focus on conducting more than one lakh cases a day will also bring in more positive cases to India’s COVID-19 tally, which is why experts are calling June and subsequent months as crucial for the country.

Currently, as per government’s data, 80% of the total cases are just from the five states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. Whereas 90% are from the above five states added with Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Karnataka. Talking about the cities, more than 70% of cases are from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Thane, Pune, Indore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Aurangabad.