India’s rigid approach to COVID-19
This current government is showing how to handle a pandemic is already earning praises from the World Health Organisation itself. For a country roughly 1.3 times of the whole Europe in terms of population. But still lacking only around 30% of medical advancements while comparing to them. Announcing a complete lock down for 21 days which is historic in a way. Commendable job isn’t it, well let’s have a reality check.
Globally first case was reported in mid-November; until December, the Chinese government was still bluffing it to be a seasonal flu; through January and February, the outbreak began spreading around the world exponentially. Finally moving its epicentre to the west. While Republic of China has 0 new cases as of now, and government claiming to have controlled the situation completely.
Throughout, a set of events were occurring in India. Early this year, protests over that new law gained national attention and most of the prime-time slots, every Indian household were found debating to the most controversial new law CAB. Amidst of all the demonstrations and violence, the COVID-19 made the headlines as “Chinese Virus” and we recorded its very first case on 30th January. Later authorities and the Ministry of Healthcare rigidly denied any cases and H2H spreading of any such virus.
Recently we have seen an exponential growth in the number of cases. Today, we are seven days into a three-week National lock down. Prime minister Modi made his speech at 8:00 p.m. on March 24, which implemented a heavy restriction on 1.3 billion citizens of India.
Some say that this lock down is little too late, but I feel it implied at the exact timeline as India enters Stage 3 of the deadly COVID-19. It surely is a headline-grabbing initiative announced by the honorable Prime Minister of India which also included a little warning. This lock down heavily adds up to the responsibilities of the local police, administration and everyone who is there to stop and handle the local community from moving out and at the same time ensuring that citizens are made available to all the required resources. At the same time citizens and society is equally held responsible to make sure there is absolutely no Human interaction. Modiji addressed the concept of Social Distancing with interest to public health and safety.
India is rigidly responding to the world’s harshest lock down, it also includes police brutality, a lack of transparency, shortage of compassion, and a huge unavailability of resources like masks, sanitizers.
Indians were requested to immediately stop going out of their homes, businesses were ordered to shut down and no traveling—via plane, train, bus or personal vehicles—will be allowed. The restrictions were forced on a very short notice, which indeed created a panic. The next morning, nothing was open in the place where I live. Only essentials services were made available like grocery stores and pharmacies, which again was made painful by police brutality. Since this lock down is suddenly forced, so the buses and trains have completely stopped carrying passengers across the country, leaving them no choice but to walk back to their families in villages.
This lock down has “flatten the curve” and might also have given the authorities some time. But this all is of no use if government do not start conducting COVID tests aggressively. If these measures are not performed properly then the lock down will merely create shallow hopes and cases might rapidly increase once the restrictions are over.
India is running rigid rather than running fast.