Lock down has failed in large parts of the country — open up now

Lock down has failed in large parts of the country. As the Central government projected, Covid-19 cases are not going to become zero by the middle of this month.  The cases are multiplying at a fast rate in several States. The exceptions are only some small States like Kerala and Chhattisgarh and the North Eastern States. Most of them, especially Kerala and Chhattisgarh achieved control, by early detection, contact tracing and proper care of the patients.

Almost all States could not shore up supplies and create infrastructure needed during then lock down. Several States could not prevent spiralling up of the cases and deaths. While the Centre claimed that curve could be flattened with the lock down and brought down to zero, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had told the people that lock down could only be a pause. Even a pause could not be achieved in cases of several parts of the country during lock down.

State-wise list of Covid-19 cases as on 12-5-2020 morning. Death rate is highest in West Bengal followed by Gujarat. It is less than one per cent in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha and Bihar. Several States smaller States have zero death rates of which Chhattisgarh is notable.

Now, there is little option than opening up fast. The tragedy of migrant labourers is still unravelling. They as well as the rest of the population are increasingly becoming susceptible. While the lower class is facing hunger, the middle class is suffering from lack of exercise and exposure to sunlight (sunlight fortifies Vitamin D in your body). All this reduces immunity. The economy is collapsing and millions are facing unemployment.

There is confusion of policies at the government level both in dealing with the pandemic and economy. There is also a bias against the poorer and less influential sections of the society. Guidelines on dealing with the Covid-19 are changed frequently because arrangements to deal with the disease in the best way are still not in place. Now, there is only one way—to face the pandemic head on and pray for herd immunity, achievement of slower spreading by means of physical distancing and use of masks and faster development of vaccines or medicines.

The government has now resumed rail services in a limited way. But non-AC coaches may be safer than AC coaches. Similarly a few hours of travel by air will be safer than a few days travel by Rajadhani class train. So, flights should be resumed along with metro services with restrictions. All manufacturing units should be allowed to function with physical distancing norms. All services except cinemas, entertainment programmes, sports events, meetings, religious gatherings and festivals should be permitted.

5 thoughts on “Lock down has failed in large parts of the country — open up now

  1. Kerala is the biggest beneficiary of lock down. Even before the formal lockdown was announced by the PM,Kerala declared a total shutdown for Kasargod.Other district wise containment plans were also announced by us. Close on the heels came the national lockdown which really turned out to be a boon for Kerala.You just think,what would have been Our plight if the Gulf flights continued to operate during this period?You see,all Our initial cases,not only in Keralala were imported.That was why I started criticising WHO and China from the very beginning.Don’t think otherwise,WHO and China have not helped the world even abit.WHO prescribed masks for general public only in the first week of April.Just rewind the views of Our Channel doctors after those cases in Pathanamthitta in the second week of March.Masks were made compulsory in Kerala very late.If it was such a necessity WHOcould have made it compulsory for air travellers as early asFebruary1.International tourist traffic could have been also curtailed by this time.But nothing happened.Dubai airport which is an international air hub is always swarmed by the Chinese.There they spread Corona to Our brothers and they in turn brought it to Kerala and other States.This strictest lockdown of India really broke the chain and saved millions of people.I again say Kerala is the biggest benefiary of the lockdown and kudos to Pinarai for its implementation without blemish though there have been some unsavoury incidents here and there.AsYou said, there have been sufferings for migrant workers and for that the main culprits are the concerned State Govtsand the general lack of Our society including You and me.That I will explain separately.

    • Think of another scenario. If flights from Gulf were allowed to operate during the lock down and those arriving here were quarantined, we would have fewer cases from the Gulf than now and we could have opened up by this month. But what we are trying to do now is to delay or limit their arrival whether they are Keralites from abroad or other States. So, we will have a continuing flow of infected people from there as Covid-19 has spread wider in those areas.

  2. The lockdown was a resounding success in saving precious human lives in a country like India. This has inculcated a great sense of health discipline among our people. See the case of masks.There may be violations here and there,but people are conscious of social distancing.It has also helped people to know there is an alternative to mindless consumerism and disgusting show of luxury.Our air is pure, Our rivers are sparkling.With proper planning and adjustment We can sustain it to a great extent.Again reverting back to the point of saving of lives in lockdown,just compare the case of two Nordic neighbours,Sweden and Norway.Sweden did not enforce any lockdown as such,but maintained social distancing and other things.Kovid cases in Sweden have crossed 26000 and deaths are over 3500.But Norway with a strict lockdown contained cases to around 8000 and deaths below 300.I will prefer Norway.But for the lockdown the whole of India would have been Mumbai,Chennai or Ahemedabad.By and large We have contained the virus in just 15 districts.

    • We cannot say how many lives the lock down saved. It may come to nought if the pandemic could not be controlled. In several States, it is not going to be under control in the near future.
      But we do know that nearly 400 lives were lost on account of accidents, starvation, denial of medical care and police brutality during the lock down not to mention the extreme misery caused to migrant labourers and the poor.
      Gains from reduction in consumerism and improvement of environment may not last long once the threat is over,
      Death rates are governed by many factors and the final word is yet to be said.

      See: https://thewire.in/rights/migrant-workers-non-coronavirus-lockdown-deaths?fbclid=IwAR3oqKxUoMeBlPXw5ovK3IY4uFT8FbRMiseC_4LRp-ocCT5iCRYZ9QMTsC8

      Journalist Saahil Murli Menghani @saahilmenghani has compiled a list of migrant workers killed in accidents while returning to their states during lock down– 64 DEAD & 152 INJURED.

      • In the heart of heart, Pinarai did not expect Modi will act like this. In Dubai, this infection was there from February. Our Malayalee Youngsters did not take it that seriously. Anytime this problem would have occurred. Fortunately, we are better prepared now.

Comments are closed.