A Whatsapp message claiming that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has come up with a protocol and procedure for the COVID-19 lockdown and its subsequent implication that the lockdown in the country will extend till June end is false. BOOM reached out to a representative of the organisation, who rubbished the message and said it is false.
The message, which is viral on all social media platforms, gives a timeline of a proposed extended lockdown and relaxation in between that needs to be implemented to curb the transmission of the novel Coronavirus and bring the COVID-19 patients ratio to zero.
An excerpt from the forward reads, "World Health Organisation protocol & procedure of lockdown periods for controlling on most dangerous virus." It further states that after one day's janta curfew and a three-week lockdown, the WHO proposes a relaxation for five days, and then restricts movement for another four weeks. The message implies that the lockdown in the country might extend till June 15 and credits the same to WHO.
Read the entire message below.
The same message is doing the rounds with a WHO logo on Whatsapp. We looked for the message on Facebook and Twitter and found netizens sharing it as well.
*WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION PROTOCOL&PROCEDURE OF LOCKDOWN PERIODS FOR CONTROLLING ON MOST DANGEROUS VIRUS*— anil (@anil76026272) April 3, 2020
STEP 1 - 1 DAY.
STEP 2- 21 DAYS.
AFTER 5 DAYS.
STEP 3- 28 DAYS.
AFTER 5 DAYS.
STEP 4 - 15 DAYS.
BOOM found that the proposed stepwise lockdown and relaxation policy has been falsely credited to WHO. We reached out to a representative from the organisation, who called out the message as fake.
In a tweet, WHO's South East Asia handle also dismissed the same.
WHO does not list a lockdown timeline, it is up to the countries to issue lockdown guidelines depending on the spread of the disease. China's Wuhan, which is believed to have detected the first positive novel Coronavirus case, was on a draconian lockdown for two months starting from January 23.
Message based on a proposed lockdown model by researchers
Furthermore, we also found that the viral message is actually based on a research paper by two Indian-origin researchers at the University of Cambridge, which proposes a sustained lockdown with periodic relaxation to curb the spread.
A Business Standard article mentioned that according to the study a 21-day lockdown that the Indian government has imposed is unlikely to be effective and 'there will be a resurgence of COVID-19 at the end of it.' It further predicts that a 49 day lockdown maybe necessary to stop the resurgence of the disease.
The study is titled, 'Age-structured impact of social distancing on the COVID-19 epidemic in India.' Below is the PDF version of the same.
The study concludes by saying, 'Our model suggests sustained periods of lockdown with periodic relaxation will reduce the number of cases to levels where individualised social contact tracing and quarantine may become feasible.'