Editorial

No Win Situation

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/6/2020 12:04:21 PM IST

 Over four months after the nationwide total lockdown was imposed, India has been gone into gradual unlock modes to get back on track to the ‘new normal’. Roads, and even the skies, have been busy for the last days since restrictions started to ease. Many businesses and workplaces are already open, construction has re-started, markets are crowded and parks are filling up. Soon, hotels, restaurants, malls, places of worship, schools and colleges will also reopen. India began to ease lockdown through unlock1.0 (June 8) no movement of people except those involved in essential activities, anywhere in India between 9 pm to 5 am., unlock2.0 (July 1) more domestic flights allowed to operate and movement of individuals will remained prohibited from 10 pm to 5 am across the country. Unlock 3.0(From August 5) has allowed opening of malls, shopping complexes and market places in non-containment zones and inter-state travel without restrictions. However, the central government has also given authority to state governments to assess the spread of coronavirus and formulate policies accordingly. In line with this, several states in the country have decided to continue strict lockdown till August 31 and have imposed travel restrictions. In the last two months, India has turned stadia, schools and even train coaches into quarantine centres, added and expanded Covid-19 wards in hospitals, and ramped up testing as well as production of protective gear. While grave challenges remain and shortages persist of almost all items, the consensus seems to be that the government got all the time it wanted. India made global headlines not for its caseload but for its botched handling of the lockdown - millions of informal workers, largely migrants, were left jobless overnight. Scared and unsure, many tried to return home, often desperate enough to walk, cycle or hitchhike across hundreds of kilometres. Beyond a point, it’s hard to sustain a lockdown that has gone on for so long - economically, socially and psychologically. India’s lockdown came at a huge cost, especially since so many of its people live on a daily wage or close to it. It put food supply chains at risk, cost millions their livelihood, and throttled every kind of business - from car manufacturers to high-end fashion to the corner shop selling tobacco. As the economy sputtered and unemployment rose, India’s growth forecast tumbled to a 30-year-low. Perhaps the choice - between a virus that didn’t appear to be wreaking havoc yet, and a lockdown that certainly was - seemed obvious to the government. And worse,despite lockdown the pandemic continues to rage. When India went into lockdown on March 24, it had reported 519 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. Now,the tally has reached 20, 22,019 with 40,699 deaths as on August 6,2020 . Dr Jacob John an internationally renowned virologist, like several other experts, also predicted a peak in July or August, and believes the country is reopening so quickly because the “government realised the futility of such leaky lockdowns”. The discomforting fact is that the virus will continue to infect more people but the concern should be on those most vulnerable like the aged above 60 those below 10 and those with serious health issues like diabetes, heart problems, kidney or liver diseases etc. Only a vaccine and herd immunity can eventually stop the virus.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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