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Explained: India enforced one of the strongest lockdowns, here’s how it stacks up against other countries


A Stringency Index created by Oxford University shows how strict a country’s measures were, and at what stage of the spread it enforced these. India imposed its strictest measures much earlier than others.

IT HAS been well understood that among various countries responding to the Covid-19 outbreak, India enforced one of the strongest lockdowns at an early phase of case growth. Now, an index created by the University of Oxford quantifies that. The Stringency Index has found that India indeed had one of the strongest lockdown measures in the world — at a 100 score since March 22. It was relaxed slightly on April 20 after the government eased norms for certain workplaces in regions outside the red zones.

What is Stringency Index index?

It is among the metrics being used by the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker. The Tracker involves a team of 100 Oxford community members who have continuously updated a database of 17 indicators of government response. These indicators examine containment policies such as school and workplace closings, public events, public transport, stay-at-home policies. The Stringency Index is a number from 0 to 100 that reflects these indicators. A higher index score indicates a higher level of stringency.

It provides a picture of the stage at which any country enforced its strongest measures. Oxford provides an overlay of countries’ death curve and their stringency score. Some countries saw their deaths just begin to flatten as they reached their highest stringency, such as ItalySpain, or France. As China pulled stronger measures, its death curve plateaued.

Explained: How India is responding to lockdown relaxations

In countries such as the UK, the US, and India, the Oxford graphs find that the death curve has not flattened after strictest measures were enforced. From the highest death count at their strongest measures, the countries compared were France, Italy, Iran, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, US, Turkey, Israel, China, India, and Switzerland.

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