Gaurav Munjal of Unacademy, Abhishek Bansal of Shadowfax, and Urban Company founder too have endorsed the note. It has also been signed by several venture capitalists such as Kalaari Capital’s Chirag Gandhi and Accel Partners’ Prashanth Prakash.
The group claims that India could have between 600-2,500 positive coronavirus
cases as compared to the current 137 reported in the country as learnings from Wuhan suggest actual undiagnosed cases are typically 5-20 times the diagnosed cases. It also points out that countries which have acted early and strongly such as South Korea, Singapore, and Japan have been able to bring down cases compared to those which waited and watched such as Iran, Italy and France. “Hence, while containment efforts should continue, imposing a lock-down and Section 144 now versus 30 days later might reduce deaths by 5 times,” says the note.
It suggests that from March 20 to April 12 there should be Section 144 across all major affected areas, businesses should work from home, and stores, schools, cinemas all should be shut down and public transport should run on a limited need basis.
In the second stage, between April 13 and May 17, the government should reassess the situation and lift off Section 144 in most if not all places. It should continue to selectively keep schools, colleges, temples and places of large gathering closed.
In stage 3, between May 18-May 31 a decision should be made to have another round of lockdown, so that there is no second peak after initial restrictions
From June onwards, government should open up everything with social distancing but monitor the situation
It urges the government to maintain a supply chain of essentials such as medicines, food and healthcare access during the lockdown period and create war rooms headed by the chief minister of each state. The group also advises scaling up of testing infrastructure by opening it to the private sector.