The aim of the lockdown was to prepare the healthcare system for a subsequent surge in cases. The idea was to use the period when economic activity was brought to a standstill to administratively prepare for the surge in new infections. Unfortunately, there is ample evidence of administrative incapacity rather than competence.
Among states Delhi, under the dual control of centre and AAP government, encapsulates the confusion among administrators. Three months after the initial lockdown and three weeks into the “unlock” phase, Delhi remains unsure of what to do. Guidelines, whether they pertain to home quarantine or testing are impractical and keep changing. This confusion and instability can undermine the fight against Covid-19.
To help their frontline staff as well as patients, governments across the country need to stick to a protocol that is stable and also simple. They have had ample time to figure things out.