On the brink of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, India is facing a challenge as the situation is unavoidable. Election in four states and one Union territory is the reason for non-stop rallies by all the political parties and of course becomes a legitimate reason to flout COVID appropriate behaviour. Religious and cultural events are also on the rise which can be blamed for the steep rise in cases. Even after being advised by many famous and important leaders, most people are taking it easy and have adjusted with the virus. However, this does not mean the problem is over. Many states are considering partial lockdowns and night curfews to control the spread, with some even implementing them already.
Madhya Pradesh announced lockdown in four of its districts amid the surge in total cases.
The state government said that urban areas of Chhindwara and Ratlam will be affected from Thursday 10 PM to April 5th, 6 AM. Betul district’s lockdown will start by 10 PM Friday while Khargone will initiate the process by 8 PM, with both ending on the 5th of April, by 6AM.
Stating that the Sunday lockdowns will continue, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan briefed reporters that these four districts have been appointed special teams to contain the deadly pathogen and affirmed that they will be soon brought to normalcy. He appealed to the people to celebrate festivals in their personal space and not break away from the safety guidelines issued by the Centre. He added that no rallies will be organised in the state. Further promoting the vaccination process, the CM requested the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated without any fear. Madhya Pradesh reported 2,546 cases with the fatality count going to 3,998.
MP is not the only state which is imposing and considering the lockdown strategy. Maharashtra has also put cities like Pune in night curfew. Uttarakhand has made negative RT-PCR report mandatory for entering the state. Chhattisgarh has, like Maharashtra, put all their eggs in the night curfew basket. Poll bound Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, has assured the residents of no lockdown. The Delhi government also has no plan of imposing any restrictions in their Union territory. The state of Bihar has also refuted any claims of a fresh lockdown with Odisha issuing new guidelines to curb the contagiousness of the virus.
A very positive approach of the Centre was to give the imposing powers to states as now they can focus on localised lockdown approach. Not only does it help in controlling the virus, it is also beneficial for the economy. Instead of a complete shutdown, the economy can continue to grow, albeit at a slower speed than usual. The second wave of the pandemic is expected to hit its peak in mid-April so the election process might become the super spreader this year, like the notorious Tablighi Jamaat last year. In the middle of all this, the simple yet complex question is whether the lockdown strategy can be our guiding light? Is it not just the pause button to a disaster waiting to implode? The Centre needs to introspect their policy towards the future situations of this pandemic. Apart from the exemplary vaccination drive going on, free safety kits should be distributed in rural areas and clustered colonies.
Strict actions should be taken in case anyone fails to comply with the mandatory safety procedures. As a very large democracy, we should always keep in mind that our little precautions can help our fellow citizens too. It is not only a personal duty but also a social responsibility. Even if our fatality rate is low, it is not an excuse to let go of our masks and sanitizers. As a matter of fact, our collective effort to isolate ourselves is the reason behind the low fatality rate. A little sacrifice in a time like this will prove to go a long way in the future. The virus does not see who the person is before infecting him, it’s in a moment of lapse that it clings on to you and your dear ones, with the possibility of a sad irreversible change.
Whatever be the situation in the next couple of days, we must not forget that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. We have to stay united as proud Indians and take our country to heights it was always destined to achieve. Let’s return the love this great country has bestowed upon us.