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COVID-19: Phased Exit Strategy For General Public After The Lockdown

Headed by Dr Devi Shetty of Narayana Health (Bangalore), a group of experts have submitted an exit strategy report to the Government of Karnataka on how to proceed with the phase-wise lifting of lockdowns after the 21-days.

The report is based on a two weeks’ plan from April 15 to April 30, 2020. A phase-wise lifting of the lockdown is important because of the increased public frustration, economic decline and livelihood problems faced by many. The experts also wanted to notify people that it will take around six more months for everything to be normal. So, it’s better to follow strict measures to prevent the further spread of the infection. They also said that lockdown can be extended if COVID-19 cases will drastically increase after the lifting of the lockdown.

1. The social distancing policy will be strictly followed until May 31, 2020, even after the lifting of phase-wise lockdowns.

2. The areas which are identified as the hotspots (a greater number of confirmed COVID-19 cases) will still be under lockdown for two weeks.

3. Section 144 will continue in some areas.

4. Restriction on the gathering of more than 4-6 people.

5. People can practice agricultural activities safely as the harvesting season is nearby.

6. Essential services such as groceries and pharmacy will continue.

7. Other services like gyms, shopping malls, bars, theatres and marriage halls will remain closed till April 30, which can be extended after further orders.

8. Interstate borders will be closed. Only essential goods will be allowed to pass through different states.

9. Use of public toilets will be banned, especially the one with a larger crowd. Warning signs to use it only when urgent.

10. Senior citizens or people above 60 are advised to stay indoors considering their vulnerability to the infection.

11. Extension of lockdown for air travel and interstate trains until April 30. This is because the majority of the transmission that takes place through fomites like doorknobs or door handle.

12. Encouragement on the use of masks made with a handkerchief, dupatta or any such materials which can be washed or reused.

13. Warning against the usage of disposable masks as they are non-biodegradable.

14. Grocery shops, not inside malls will remain open for a long time with social distancing measures. This will prevent the rush of people and improve economic conditions.

15. Selling of fruits and vegetables should be carried out in a moving cart instead of a crowded market.

16. If sold in markets, it should be in a large ground with proper social distancing rule.

17. Ban on chewing gums, pan masala or paan (betel leaf).

18. People performing door-to-door delivery of food or other goods should be given ID cards.

19. E-passes will be issued to people such as healthcare workers who have to travel every day due to work.

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