"Coronavirus Doesn't Discriminate, Need Lockdown": 51 Entrepreneurs' Note To PM

As fears over the spread of the novel coronavirus grow, concerns have been raised over the impact of the novel coronavirus on the Indian economy

Presentation by entrepreneurs urged government to ensure public transport remains functional

New Delhi: 

A group of venture capitalists and start-ups have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take decisive action and "impose strict lock-downs and impose Section 144 (to ban large gatherings) across key cities this week" to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

In a detailed Powerpoint presentation tweeted Tuesday evening, Abhiraj Singh Bhal, the co-founder of Urban Company (formerly Urban Clap), pointed out that countries that had "acted early and strongly (South Korea, Singapore and Japan)" were able to control the outbreak as compared to those which "waited and watched (Iran, Italy and the United States)".

"The virus does not discriminate basis nationality - early, strong and decisive action is key to containment. Impose Section 144 and strict lockdown (citizens stay at home) across major cities for two weeks starting March 20, 2020," the presentation said.

"While containment efforts should continue, imposing a lockdown and Section 144 now, vs 30 days later, might reduce deaths by 5x (saving nearly 10,000 lives," it added.

The 10-slide presentation has been created and endorsed by over 50 entrepreneurs, including Kunal Bahl of Snapdeal, Phanindra Sama of Red Bus and Rohan Verzma of MapmyIndia.

The presentation acknowledged India had "started well with good containment efforts" that included the closing of public spaces like malls and cinema theatres and encouraging people to work from home for social distancing.

However, warning that a second lockdown may have to be imposed, the presentation also urged the government to ensure supply of essentials, like food, medicine and money, and ensure availability of services like public transportation.

News Source:- NDTV