The second wave of covid 19 is raising alarms across the nation and in particular certain states. Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh are some of the states that are fighting with the second wave of the pandemic. New cases (daily) of coronavirus in India approached the critical mark of 90,000 on Saturday 3rd April. India reported 89,129 new cases on Saturday, taking the total number of coronavirus infections in the country to 1,23,92,260 and has become the second country after the United States to have the highest number of infections.
After dilly dallying for some time some of the states are forced to enforce lockdown. Several states have imposed mini containment zones, etc. in order to limit the spread of the second wave of coronavirus infections in the country. MP has imposed lockdown from Saturday 10 PM to Monday 6 AM in Indore, Bhopal and surrounding places. Maharashtra has imposed night curfew across the state from 9 pm to 7 am in the morning. The Karnataka state government has issued a detailed set of guidelines for the people going to the gym and gym owners. Karnataka reported 4,553 new COVID-19 cases, 2060 discharges and 15 deaths with Bengaluru Urban being the worst affected district in the state.
Celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Akshay Kumar are also reportedly said to be caught by the coronavirus. There are also doubts about the corona virus vaccination as some people are having body aches and other issues after getting vaccinated.
The economy all said and done is not in the best of state despite some good GST collections as well as projections being made going forward. It is obvious that while we need better control and restrictions a complete lockdown is not the answer. WE suggest the following to the govt to consider on priority:
- Create better awareness about Vaccination as social media and independent persons are floating messages against the vaccine and alternative therapies to prevent corona virus . These activities may be really out of ignorance or deliberate but is certainly creating doubts in citizens’ minds leaving everyone in a state of confusion.
- Make sure that all citizens get the vaccine asap as there is no other solution at the moment .
- Lockdown should be imposed only at night and may be a bit early in cities where the severity of the virus is more. A complete lockdown should be avoided as many people are losing their livelihood options.
- States like Madhya Pradeh must be careful . It is said that Indore district administration is imposing heavy penalties against citizens not wearing masks. While wearing a mask is necessary , citizens must be convinced politely to wear it rather than closing shops by force and imposing penalties. These are of course hard times for everyone but the administration must be careful and wise.
- There is no need to close shops and cities on sunday etc. Instead use of masks should be promoted and section 144 be imposed to avoid grouping of people.
- Certain ceremonies must be allowed like marriage, party etc but with strict conditions .
- Hotels and restaurants are an important part of the economy and they should be allowed to operate but with tight controls. This is one of the badly hurt sectors.
- Schools, colleges and religious places must be closed . Similarly cinema halls can be allowed either one or two shows but with proper social distancing.
- Travelling should not come under ban but interstate travellers must be scrutinised and put to test before crossing borders.
- Overall we need a flexible approach to fight this second wave of coronavirus while keeping vaccination drive more aggressively .
The central govt must convene a meeting of all state admin and health ministers and try to adopt the same set of guidelines across the country which will boost the sentiments and confidence of the citizens. Unnecessary material on social media must be controlled. Economy needs to flourish and complete closure of units must be avoided unless necessary and severely infected/ affected.
We hope that the govt will take cognizance and will take appropriate steps to make sure that the country and her citizens are not led in a state of utter confusion and the economy sinks. May be a message from PM MoDi is also warranted again to boost sentiments across the country and also a word about vaccination will be helpful.
Dr Asheesh Shah