Coronavirus: Here's the difference between quarantine, isolation, social distancing, curfew and lockdown

Updated on Mar 27, 2020 04:32 PM IST  |  721.8K
Coronavirus: Here's the difference between quarantine, isolation, social distancing, curfew and lockdown
Coronavirus: Here's the difference between quarantine, isolation, social distancing, curfew and lockdown

We started with social distancing and now India is under lockdown till April 14 to contain the coronavirus outbreak. This means people cannot go outside at all and they may be arrested or charged if they try to violate the rules. But there might be some misconception among people about social distancing, lockdown, isolation, quarantine and curfew. So, here is a small guide to clear up your doubts about social distancing, lockdown, curfew and others. Get to know what measurements each of them requires when implemented in society to contain the outbreak. 




Here's what are social distancing, isolation, quarantine, curfew, lockdown and curfew mean and how they are different from each other. 


What is Social Distancing?

It means to avoid physical interaction with others. Generally, health advisories recommend maintaining at least 6 feet of gap between people. Social distancing doesn't mean to be at home all day. You can go for grocery shopping but avoid social gatherings. Social distancing includes these following points:


1- Reducing social interactions as much as possible.

2- No interactions in any group. 

3- Not attending any events including concerts, sports events, religious gatherings etc.

4- Not attending any group gatherings. 

5- Doing work from home only and closing offices.

6- Closing schools and starting online classes.

7- Not attending any meetings or seminars and doing it virtually. 

8- Maintaining 6 feet of a gap while shopping at any grocery store. 

9- Do Namaste instead of a handshake. 


What is Quarantine?

People suffering from coronavirus should be kept quarantined for 14 days as the symptoms of the virus take some time to show. They should strictly be kept separated from other people. Quarantine includes these things:


1- Don't go out of home unless you have any medical emergency.

2- Strictly keep yourself away from public spaces and transport. 

3- Keep a regular check on the symptoms of COVID-19 virus, like shortness of breath, fever, cough, etc.

4- Wash your hands with soap and water regularly. 

5- Disinfecting the surfaces at home regularly. 

6- Get your necessary staff delivered at home only and do not step outside. 

7- Stay alone at home as well; separated from your family members. 


What is Isolation?

Isolation is for those people who have been diagnosed with positive COVID-19 virus. This is the highest degree of separation where only medical personnel can go near the patients but of course wearing protective gear. Generally, these patients are isolated in hospitals. Isolation means:


1- Staying in a hospital.

2- Wearing face masks among other people.

3- Not contacting others physically. 

4- Getting everything delivered to you only.

5- Using separate utensils from others.

6- Getting everything disinfected around the patient.

7- Cleaning hands with soap and water often.



What is Lockdown?

Lockdown is cutting the spread of the deadly Coronavirus by stopping the movement of people. This is a government-enforced process to slow down the flow of people outside. Lockdown means:


1- Shutting down railways, flights and all other public transport.

2- Shutting down movie theatres, restaurants and all other entertainment sectors.

3- Monitoring the movement of people outside to prevent the spread. 


What is Curfew?

Curfew has a different concept in different countries. Here, the government tries to keep people off the street for pre-decided hours where people should not go out of their home. This includes:


1- Government takes strict measures to keep people indoors.

2- They impose on fines and arrests when people try to violate the rules.