Wonder why a 21-day lockdown period was imposed by the Modi government and not 14 days or less when the lockdown's long-lasting impact will be borne by the Indian economy? There is epidemiological significance as to why 21-days, discussed at length in the context of Ebola and swine flu pandemic in the recent past.

lockdown creatives

Why 21-days lockdown and not 14-days? How does it help?

According to healthcare experts, the 21-day quarantine period is derived from the data collated on coronavirus outbreak and it is decided based on calculations of the estimated time period for incubation of the virus on the human body and the time it takes to recover.

The logic that justifies the 21-day period according to epidemiology is, it takes 14 days for incubation of the virus and another one week for the residual infection to die out by itself, when in self-quarantine, and that's how you arrive at 21-days.

Considering that this is a new type of virus, the coronavirus, scientists are estimating the same median incubation period (the time period between entry of symptoms to the onset of disease) as followed for the other viruses i.e 14 days.

According to scientific studies, the incubation period for the coronavirus is 5 to 14 days, which also happens to be the transmission period if people infected with the virus socialise within communities.

Since this virus is not spread by air, it can only survive on a human host by replicating. It cannot reproduce a cell by itself but is dependent on the human host cell to support its survival. To fight out coronavirus, self-isolation and social distancing is the only way to kick out the virus plaguing the progress of a nation.

Emphasis on social distancing and breathing space

Maintaining personal hygiene and practicing social distancing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the rapid spread of coronavirus within communities. The coronavirus lockdown thus imposed helps avoid community transmission of the virus by practicing self-quarantine and social distancing.

coronavirus in india
A man wearing a protective mask walks past a bus stop displaying preventive measures against the coronavirus in Mumbai.Reuters

Also, the government has emphasised on cleanliness and hygiene facilities in the environment and surroundings around, by disinfecting buildings, vehicles and surfaces are cleaned with disinfectants, and shops besides those providing necessities are shut down.

These efforts by the government at the centre, regional and local levels are meant to assist the healthcare community at large, who have been striving to cure the infected Covid-19 patients and treating suspects at public facilities.

Since people cannot practice self-quarantine for an indefinite period of time, a nationwide lockdown for 21-days is imposed by the government to take better control of the pandemic spreading far and wide rapidly. It is important for people during these times to follow the instructions provided by the government diligently, and stand together in support to root out Covid-19 symptoms completely from the nation.