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Startup community asks gov to impose a strict lockdown for the next 2-3 weeks


Several members of the startup community have come together to urge the government to impose strict measures in their attempt to battle and contain the ongoing coronavirus spread. They have requested both the state and central governments to impose a strict lockdown across major cities for the next 2-3 weeks with preparation for a second lockdown later. 

This comes at a time when India is in its fourth week of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that has affected most of the world.

“Countries which have acted early and strongly (South Korea, Singapore, Japan) are able to flatten the curve and bring down cases compared to those which waited and watched (Iran, Italy, France and USA),” read the report, prepared and endorsed by several startup entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

The report has over 60 supporters including founders of startups such as Cred, Bounce, Urban Company and Unacamedy along with investors from Accel Partners, Matrix Partners and Kalaari Capital. Entrackr has a copy of the report

The lockdown for the next few weeks, according to the document includes private enterprises asking employees to work from home; restaurants, bars, schools, colleges and religious places being shut; and all events cancelled. It further says that a lockdown now versus 30 days later might help save 5 times more lives in just 90 days. 

“The next two weeks are very crucial and we are helping the government with data points to take quick action,” said Vivekananda Hallekere, chief executive of bike sharing platform Bounce. “We are also ensuring that the infrastructure for isolation is managed — be it converting a hotel into an isolation centre or getting delivery companies to ramp up supply chain during the lockdown.”

The report also recommends a precautionary phase from mid April for a month, followed by a second lockdown phase for almost 15 days.

As of now, India has 137 people diagnosed with the coronavirus with Maharashtra having the highest count in the country at at least 39 cases.

“We are making a strong pitch to the government of India that we have to move away from soft measures to strong measures of social distancing and locking down the cities in which people have been diagnosed,” added Abhiraj Bhal, chief executive of services firm Urban Company.

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