Explained: Has India’s coronavirus lockdown been effective?

The expansion of testing capacity, a central purpose of the lockdown, hasn’t kept pace with the spread of the virus. This doesn’t bode well.

ByNL Team
  • whatsapp
  • copy

The number of coronavirus infections is rising rapidly just as India is emerging from the lockdown imposed in late March to contain the pandemic. This begs the question: was this prolonged lockdown, one of the harshest in the world, effective?

When the lockdown was imposed, public health experts advised that its central purpose ought to be to buy time to ramp up testing and scale up quarantine and healthcare infrastructure. “You cannot fight a fire blindfolded,” warned Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization. “We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test.”

Meghnad S sifts through data to find out whether India expanded its testing capacity adequately during the lockdown.

Turns out that the expansion of testing capacity hasn’t kept pace with the spread of the virus. This trend does not bode well as India opens up.


This explainer is part of a project supported by the Thakur Family Foundation. The Thakur Family Foundation has not exercised any editorial control over the project.


Journalists are on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis in India, as elsewhere, reporting from the ground and asking hard questions that need answers. Support independent media by subscribing to Newslaundry today, and pay to keep news free.

newslaundry logo

Pay to keep news free

Complaining about the media is easy and often justified. But hey, it’s the model that’s flawed.


We take comments from subscribers only!  Subscribe now to post comments! 
Already a subscriber?  Login

You may also like