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Lockdown may be lifted, but corona will be on prowl

Lockdown may be lifted, but corona will be on prowl
Highlights

Will there be graded exit of the harshest lockdown in the world after May 3 across the country? Well, this is what the people of India expect to be the outcome of the third video conference the Prime Minister will have with all State Chief Ministers.

Will there be graded exit of the harshest lockdown in the world after May 3 across the country? Well, this is what the people of India expect to be the outcome of the third video conference the Prime Minister will have with all State Chief Ministers. During the last video conference on April 11, the consensus of all the Chief Ministers was not to lift the lockdown.

In fact, that helped in preparing the people of the country mentally for a second lockdown. But now the indications are that it is time for graded exit. The Centre and the State governments have been giving gradual relaxation in various fields and sectors to boost economic activities as also to provide relief to people. Majority of the governments including Telangana may agree for graded exit as there is urgent need to restart economic activities.

While it is not possible to predict by when we will be able to say that 'yes the country is now 100 percent green zone', the fact remains that we need to build better future and we need to start from scratch again and we need to start right now. However, both the Centre and the State governments also need to work out a proper road map as according to the World Health Organisation, the worst is not yet over. After a gap of 40 or 50 days, it would be the time of the year when the skies would open up and it would start pouring.

The weather would change dramatically. This would be the time when classroom to boardroom all would be prone to health issues. It is the season for sneezing, fever and cough. Normally what would have passed off as seasonal ailments now stare at us as Covid-19 positive symptoms. One uncovered cough or sneeze in public transport is enough to infect a whole bunch of people. Added to this, we will have problems like flooded areas, mosquitoes, handrails and elevators which can be sources of infection.

Hence the governments need to focus their attention on ensuring that the monsoon does not lead to resurrection of the deadly corona. While people should continue with the new habit they have been following for last 40 days like frequent washing of hands, maintaining social distance, never share food, dishes, glass or cutlery, drink boiled water etc to protect themselves and their family from getting sick and stay tuned to health warnings, the government should also ensure that it would not compromise on continuing with certain restrictions. It will have to sensitise the staff of public transport to ensure that social distance is maintained at any cost and with all seriousness as it is being done now at many public places. Maybe it would be advisable for the government not to permit any social functions or political meetings till December.

It would also be better if it can ban holding of any kind of elections at least till next year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's caution that "Jaan hai tho Jahan hai' and 'Sawdhani hati, durghatna ghati' (accident happens when caution is lowered), gives ample indication that people to continue with the new practices they have adopted during last 40 days as the country, nay the globe, is still in the midst of war against the deadly Covid-19. It is not time to be overconfident. Once the lockdown is lifted in a phased manner, people should not become overenthusiastic or else the virus will enter the house even without ringing the calling bell. A country like India cannot afford to make such a mistake. The experience of the world tells us a lot in this regard.

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