Lockdown upside: India records significant drop in deaths, crime, says report

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April 30, 2020 6:18 PM

Since the lockdown is effective, there have been a fewer road accidents, fewer murders and fewer reports of violence against women and fewer suicides — all leading up to saving of lives.

Kerala recorded a 40 per cent fall in murder cases in the period between March 25 and April 14 — first phase of lockdown — as opposed to the same period last year.

Covid-19 lockdown: India has witnessed a significant slump in the number of overall deaths due to complete lockdown imposed since March 25. While the lockdown was not a choice but a necessity to ensure the pandemic is contained, it has saved thousands of lives nationwide in ways many would not have imagined. Since the lockdown is effective, there have been a fewer road accidents, fewer murders and fewer reports of violence against women and fewer suicides — all leading up to saving of lives, found The Indian Express after collating data from Bengaluru and a number of states like Assam, Kerala, Telangana and Tripura.

According to the report in IE, Kerala recorded a 40 per cent fall in murder cases in the period between March 25 and April 14 — first phase of lockdown — as opposed to the same period last year. Not only this, Karunakaran, deputy superintendent at the state crime records bureau in Thiruvananthapuram, told IE that there had been a 70 per cent fall in rape cases and a 100 per cent fall in cases of violence against women and children.

Sharing the numbers in the lockdown period, Karunakaran said the number of accidents came down to 105 from 1787 last year, murders came down to 8 from 13 last year, missing cases came down to 132 from 851, suicides came down to 192 from 445 and unnatural deaths came down to 630 from 1052 during the same period in 2019.

The report also said that hospitals in Bengaluru are seeing a sharp decline in trauma cases. The national daily spoke to Dr Jagadish Hiremath, MD of ACE Suhas Hospital in Bengaluru, who said that since they were located in the Jigani industrial area, they used to receive at least 10 minor industrial accidents in a week. “We also used to get those injured in major road accidents. But, since mid-March, there have been no admissions with such complaints,” IE quoted him as saying.

The IE also got numbers from the northeastern states like Assam, Tripura and Manipur — all have reported similar trends with fewer people turning up at hospitals. As per the report, GB Panth Hospital in Tripura used to see around 1200 and 1500 patients on an usual day but now this number has come down to only 600-650.

In some states like Assam, police believe the lockdown has resembled a ‘curfew-like’ situation especially during the night hours, thus deterring criminals from engaging in crimes they normally would. “No one dares to step out (especially at night),” said a senior police officer from Dhubri district in the western part of the state. “Our district had a high crime rate, but post lockdown, this has decreased. Of course, a couple of petty crimes have been reported,” he added.

In Nagaon district of Assam, the crimes such as highway robbery, money snatching, drug smuggling and murders have all come down. Nagaon SP told IE that road accidents have reduced by 7 per cent-10 per cent in his district since the lockdown was effective. Manipur has similar story with Imphal West district reporting zero FIRs of murder, assault or accidents since the lockdown. Telangana has recorded an almost 60 per cent drop in crime rate in the state during the lockdown. According to the data obtained by IE, the state has registered 16,942 cases between March 22 and April 22 in 2019. However, this number has now come down to only 6,923 in the same period.

India has so far reported over 33,000 cases and nearly 1100 deaths due to Covid-19.

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