Don’t destroy livelihoods

Ensure coronavirus protocol to halt Covid

Don’t destroy livelihoods

The idea of imposing a weekend curfew or a lockdown flies in the face of all that we have learnt from the pandemic so far and the 75 days of a total lockdown that was suddenly clamped on the country on March 24 in an attempt to contain the coronavirus from spreading. Did the harsh measure halt the disease in its track? Far from it. Rather in a cruel corollary, it unleashed unprecedented misery on both the haves and the have-nots as the economy lay shattered in its wake, plunging millions into unmitigated depths of financial strain.

Having learnt the bitter lesson, it is not surprising that both Punjab and Haryana have promptly turned down the Chandigarh Administration’s proposal of locking down the Tricity on weekends. For a society that is still smarting under the impact of the earlier shutdown, putting such obstacles in the way of the businesses that are trying to recoup their losses and limping back to a modicum of normalcy smacks of nothing but apathy. The chaos on the NCR border, as Noida/Ghaziabad recently experimented with the Sunday lockdown, pins the importance of having minimum restrictions in the smooth and uninterrupted flow of goods and services. Most states have wisely refrained from switching back to the shutdown mode, even partially.

Even as facilitating the restoration of the broken economy is non-negotiable, the states cannot afford to overlook the sharp trajectory that the Covid-19 curve has taken ever since the unlocking on June 1. With over 37,000 fresh cases on Wednesday, the national load spiked to 11.90 lakh. The responsibility of combating the disease falls equally on every individual. For their own safety as well as of their loved ones, they must abide by the health experts’ guidelines. It involves adhering to the three-fold regimen of hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing. Home quarantine in case of contact with a Covid-positive person and home isolation in case of contracting the disease with mild symptoms are a must to preventing transmission. Alongside, governments need to step up their campaign comprising surveillance, contact-tracing, containment plans, screening of the vulnerable populace and testing.

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